First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has allocated approximately Rs 48 billion over the past two years for the development and maintenance of electricity distribution infrastructure.
Facing the challenge of securing adequate funding to modernize its supply system, the government-owned power utility has struggled to combat poor electricity distribution, primarily due to outdated infrastructure.
This issue has led to recurrent tripping problems for consumers, undisclosed power cuts for industries, and wastage of generated electricity.
Kulman Ghising, the NEA’s managing director, disclosed that the previously mentioned sum was employed for the construction, upkeep, and enhancement of electrical infrastructure during the fiscal years 2021/22 and 2022/23.
He clarified that these funds were directed towards transmission mechanisms, encompassing the creation, maintenance, and elevation of distribution lines and substations.
The NEA has projected an investment requirement of Rs 800 billion for the nationwide enhancement of electricity supply.
Ghising has consistently emphasized in public forums that Nepal will face substantial electricity supply challenges unless the government promptly invests in the expansion of transmission lines.
To accommodate the escalating electricity demand tied to population growth, the authority has established a target deadline of 2050. It has expedited the construction process for transmission and distribution infrastructure in key regions within the valley, following a phased approach.
The NEA has asserted its commitment to bolstering and enhancing the system’s infrastructure to address consumer grievances.
The ongoing construction of 400 kV, 220 kV, and 132 kV transmission lines and substations aligns with meeting the projected electricity demand in 11 major cities by 2050, including the Kathmandu Valley.
Presently, 5,742 km of circuit lines and 8,867 MVA substations are operational. Over the past two years, 17 substations with a capacity of 2500 MVA have become operational, while a total of 54 substations are currently under construction.
During this period, the NEA distributed more than 40,000 reading meters free of charge to impoverished families. Furthermore, the authority has established customer service call centers in each province to address customer concerns.
NEA records indicate that approximately 95 percent of households now have access to electricity. Among these, full electricity access has been achieved for all residents in the Madhes, Bagmati, and Gandaki provinces.
Koshi Province has achieved 95 percent electrification, Lumbini Province has achieved 98 percent electrification, Karnali Province has achieved 67 percent electrification, and Sudurpashchim Province has attained 82 percent electrification.
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