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NEA starts charging Dhalkebar substation

KATHMANDU: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has started charging the country’s first gas-insulated station, Dhalkebar substation, with no load from Thursday.

The tender process of the 400 kV substation project was started in fiscal year 2017/18 and it was completed around two-and-a-half years after construction began, under the supervision of NEA’s engineering company. The engineering design of the project was done by NEA and it was funded by the government.

Construction activities were given continuity even during the lockdown period with a target to complete the project by the end of last fiscal year 2019/20. However, the substation could not be charged as the high-voltage testing machine was stuck at Kyirong customs point for three months due to the lockdown.

Although the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line was supposed to have been charged at 400 kV, it was initially operated at only 132 kV. Later in 2018/19 it was operated at 220 kV capacity and now it is able to operate at 400 kV charging capacity. The upgraded substation has three power transformers each with capacity of 315 MVA.

The substation with electricity transmission capacity of around 1,200 megawatts is now able to import or export up to 850 MW of electricity. This means that it can export the electricity generated by Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project.

After the east-west transmission line is charged at 400 kV, the substation will be able to transmit 12,000 MW of energy.

Applauding the efforts of all those involved in the project including the workers, contracting company and subcontractors and the consulting companies, former managing director of NEA, Kul Man Ghising, said that the project was completed quite quickly. He expressed happiness at the successful completion of his strategy.

“Although we tried a lot to charge the station during my tenure we could not do it because we did not have the high-voltage testing kit,” said Ghising. He added that completion of the Dhalkebar substation is an important milestone for the hydropower sector of the county.

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