India and Nepal have agreed to build new cross-border power transmission lines to help in the distribution of electricity from power projects being developed in Nepal.
The new Butwal(Nepal)-Gorakhpur (India) and Lumki (Nepal) –Bareilly ( India) transmission lines and new 400 kV sub-stations at Dhalkebar, Butwal and Hetauda, all in Nepal, were discussed during the fourth meeting of the Indo-Nepal joint working group and joint steering committee (JSC) on power cooperation, which concluded here on 14-02-2017.
The modalities for building and funding the transmission lines will be discussed by the joint technical team. The Indian side expressed its readiness to consider new letters of credit (LOCs) for building infrastructure on the Nepalese side, said a statement from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.
During the meeting, India expressed its readiness to train Nepalese engineers in operational and commercial issues. Power Grid Corporation of India is willing to come up with special training courses to meet the requirements of the Nepalese side.
While assessing progress in several India-funded hydropower projects, concern was expressed about delays in acquiring forest land for the Arun-III ( 900 MW) and Upper Karnali ( 900 MW) projects, which have led to delays and affected economic viability. The Nepalese side said these issues will be resolved in two months.
The Nepalese side also expressed interest in acquisition of LED bulbs from India. India has installed more than 210 million LED bulbs, enhancing power efficiency and reducing costs. It plans to install 770 million LED bulbs in a few years.
The Indian side said new guidelines issued by the government for cross-border trade of electricity were "fair and liberal" after Nepal raised some objections. "The guidelines provide a lot of comfort and certainty to power developers interested in exporting electricity to India," the statement said.
The Nepalese side appreciated efforts by the Indian government to supply more electricity to Nepal to overcome an energy shortage during the winter. The current import of 380 MW from India was made possible by the installation of an additional transformer at Muzaffarpur and technical improvements at Tanakpur.
With the commissioning of two new lines - Raxaul-Parwanipur and Kataiya-Kusaha - the capacity for power exports to Nepal will increase by 100 MW to 120 MW by the end of February. Once a substation at Dhalkebar is completed, the capacity will further increase to 700 MW by mid-2017.