Now Indian states can do direct power trade with Nepal

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Kathmandu, September 21 (IANS): In a bid that will bolster bilateral energy cooperation, now Indian states can directly buy electricity from Nepal.

This agreement was reached during the 14th meeting of the Joint Technical Team ( JTT) on Wednesday in New Delhi, according to the Nepali side.

Both sides also reached an understanding on increasing the quantum of power to be traded through the Dhalkehar -Muzaffarpur cross - border transmission line and accelerating the - construction of cross-border lines to boos the power trade.

Any Indian undertaking that is in the power trading business can sell and buy electricity through a 132 kv transmission line, said Prabal Adhikari, head of the energy trade department of Nepal Electricity Authority, the power trade between Nepal and any Indian states will be signed at Energy Secretary level.

The agreement comes in operation and execution only after signing the deal whose meeting is expected to convene soon.
Those states who want to procure electricity from Nepal should propose first to India’s state power agency for approval.

In order to implement the agreement, two dedicated 132 kv transmission lines between Nepal and India will be used for power export from Nepal to Indian states like Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh among others. Nepal and India are going to complete the construction of 132 kv new Nautanwa - Mainaiya line and Kohalpur - Nanpara line which will be used for the import and export of power besides the 400 kv Dhalkehar - Muzaffarpur cross - border transmission line.

India’s Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam which is currently developing a 900 MW Arun - III hydropower project is building a 400 kv Dhalkebar - Sitamarhi line that is expected to evacuate up to 2,000 MW.

Now India is going to give access to Nepal to use this line for power export and import from the country. Earlier, this line was exclusively built to power export being produced in Arun III and two other projects.

As of now, Nepal and India are trading business only through the 400 kv Dhalkehar - Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line. The meeting also decided to upgrade the capacity of the Dhalkewar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line which has a capacity for importing and exporting 600-MW of electricity.   After strengthening of this transmission line, Nepal can sell 800 MW of electricity to India.

In the last joint steering committee meeting held in February, both sides agreed to increase the volume of power to be traded via the 400kv Dhalkehar - Muzaffarpur cross - border line from 600 MW to 800 MW.

As energy trade becomes a key foundation between Nepal and India, both countries are planning to constitute several cross-border transmission lines. Besides, the 400KV Dhalkehar-Muzaffarpur cross-border line, both nations are also constructing Hetuda-Dhalkebar-Inaruwa line. Another 400 kV transmission line that is under construction between the two countries is Dodhara-Bareilly which is expected to complete by 2028-29.