Power Enigma

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

hy­dropower sec­tor is likely to grow man­i­fold fol­low­ing the sign­ing of a power trade agree­ment (PTA) with In­di­an­in­vestors keen to fi­nance hy­dro projects. The hy­dropower sec­tor has at­tracted the most FDI pledges. Ac­cord­ing to statis­tics of the Depart­ment of In­dus­try, Nepal has at­tracted FDI com­mit­ments of Rs.16.93 bil­lion from 20 dif­fer­ent projects dur­ing 2011-12 to 2013-14.

The coun­try is likely to pro­duce 8,000-9,000 MW of elec­tric­ity in the next 10 years. How­ever, the most chal­leng­ing is­sue is the de­vel­op­ment of trans­mis­sion lines to con­nect the gen­er­ated power to the na­tional grid. Sev­eral trans­mis­sion line projects, in­clud­ing the 75-km Khimti-Dhalke­bar and the ThankotCha­pa­gaun-Bhak­ta­pur line, have hit snags due to land pool­ing and com­pen­sa­tion is­sues. The prob­lem has led to de­mands for tem­po­rary in­volve­ment of the pri­vate sec­tor in de­vel­op­ing short trans­mis­sion lines un­der the build-op­er­ate-trans­fer scheme.

The

gov­ern­ment

has

al­lot­ted Rs.12.62 bil­lion for elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and Rs.13.55 bil­lion for build­ing trans­mis­sion lines in the cur­rent fis­cal year’s bud­get. The bud­get also talks about un­bundling the state-owned Nepal Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity into three sep­a­rate en­ti­ties – gen­er­a­tion, trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion.

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