Nepal and India finalize cross-border power transmission modalities

KATHMANDU: In a significant stride towards enhancing cross-border power cooperation, Nepal and India have finalized the modalities of proposed cross-border transmission lines with a capacity of 132 kV and below. The 11th meeting of the Joint Steering Committee on Power Sector Cooperation (JSC) held in Chitwan on Friday endorsed these modalities. The agreement was signed by Gopal Prasad Sigdel, Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation of Nepal, and Pankaj Agarwal, Secretary at the Ministry of Power of India.

This development followed the Agreement on Long-Term Power Trade signed between India and Nepal on Thursday, where India committed to purchasing 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal over the next decade.

The JSC meeting delved into the possibilities of allowing Nepal to export electricity to Bangladesh using Indian transmission lines. While Bangladesh has expressed interest in purchasing 40 MW of electricity from Nepal, both nations are awaiting India’s approval to materialize this power trade.

In addition, the meeting discussed the fundamental aspects of carrying out a trilateral agreement among the authorities of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh, adhering to the Guidelines for Import/Export (Cross Border) of Electricity enforced by the Indian government.

The JSC meeting also marked the inauguration of three new 132 kV lines, including the second circuit of Raxaul (Bihar, India)-Parwanipur (Nepal), the second circuit of Kataiya (Bihar, India)-Kusaha (Nepal), and New Nautanwa (Uttar Pradesh, India)-Mainhiya (Nepal).

External Affairs Minister of India S Jaishankar and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal NP Saud led the inauguration. These lines collectively add about 200 MW of transmission capacity, bolstering the overall transmission capacity between India and Nepal to 1400 MW.

Notably, the New Nautanwa-Mainhiya transmission line marks the first connection between Nepal and the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. This progress aligns with the India-Nepal Joint Vision Statement on Power Sector Cooperation, issued during the visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India in April 2022.

During Dahal’s visit, both nations agreed to hold the first meeting of the Joint Hydro Development Committee (JHDC) soon. The recent bilateral talks reaffirmed the commitment to ongoing discussions on this subject, with plans for the next sessions of the JWG/JSC meetings to be organized by the Indian side.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday January 8, 2024, 10:06:23 AM |

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