Nepal, India strengthen cooperation

KATHMANDU: Nepal and India are close to finalising the regulatory modality for allowing Nepali power producers access to the Indian power market, according to the Indian embassy in Nepal.

This regulatory modality will provide an outlet for Nepal’s surplus power in the coming months, the Indian embassy said on Friday.

After the virtual meeting of the Joint Steering Committee on Cooperation in Power, the apex bilateral mechanism for enhancing and coordinating various government-to-government led initiatives in the power sector, held on Friday, the Indian embassy said that the two sides discussed suitable rules and guidelines for allowing access to Nepali power producers to the Indian market, the development of energy banking mechanism (trading mechanism) and the development of high voltage cross-border transmission lines.

The meeting was led by energy secretaries of the two countries.

Nepal has been urging India to issue a regulation allowing Nepal to sell its energy in the Indian power exchange market.

But, in the absence of suitable rules, Nepal is facing the risk of its surplus energy to be wasted.

This is particularly in the rainy season when more power is produced from the run-of-river type hydropower projects.

Nepali officials involved in talks however could not be available to comment when Xinhua contacted them.

In an article published by Republica, an English language daily newspaper in May, Prawal Adhikari, a senior official at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the sole power utility body of Nepal said, “It is a bare fact that our hydropower projects are spilling during off-peak hours from May to November.

“It is triggered by either snowmelt runoff or monsoon precipitation.”

As per the simulation results based on certain assumptions of commissioning hydropower projects, Nepal will be in the state of seasonal surplus till the year 2027 from which Nepal will be a pure exporter of power on a round-the-year basis, according to Adhikari.

Nepal has so far produced over 1,400MW of electricity, according to the NEA.

But, it has already signed a power purchase agreement with the developers of 241 under-construction hydropower projects whose combined installed capacity is 5,267MW. — Xinhua

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