India agrees to energy banking with Nepal



Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Kulman Ghising, who led the Nepali delegation in the PEC meeting, said agreement has been reached on energy banking through the power traders of the two countries. 
The PEC also agreed on the draft guideline incorporating the methodology and structure of the energy banking.

 


KATHMANDU ( 27 December 2018) – India has agreed on ‘energy banking’ so as to use electricity that is in surplus supply in Nepal during the rainy season. 

The 13th meeting of the Power Exchange Committee (PEC) held in the Indian capital New Delhi on Wednesday decided on ‘energy banking’ between Nepal and India. 

Nepal had been placing proposal for energy banking with India for long by which it would export electricity to India during the monsoon and import it during the winter. 

Discussions had been going on with India on this line as an option to the surplus power that would be available in Nepal during the monsoon as some hydropower projects including the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project would start their production from next year. 


Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Kulman Ghising, who led the Nepali delegation in the PEC meeting, said agreement has been reached on energy banking through the power traders of the two countries. 
The PEC also agreed on the draft guideline incorporating the methodology and structure of the energy banking.

The draft guideline has been finalized. The Joint Working Group at the joint-secretary level and the Joint Steering Committee at the energy secretary level between the two countries will endorse the draft guideline when they meet in January. 

The Joint Steering Committee had directed the ‘technical committee’ comprising the officials of the two countries to prepare the outline of the guidelines before this. 

“Agreement has been forged on the guideline prepared for energy banking. It will come into effect after the JWG and the JSC under the bilateral power trade agreement approve it,” Ghising said. He added that Nepal has achieved a big success in energy banking which he described as a ‘milestone’ of the country’s energy sector. 

The PEC meeting also decided to forward the construction of new Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 KV second inter-country transmission line. 

NEA Spokesperson and Chief of Power Trade Department, Prabal Adhikari, who also participated in the meeting, said that Nepal proposed for ‘Energy Book’ for the first five to seven years and India was positive in this regard.
He said, “Nepal will book for energy in first five to seven years as it will take around four years to construct the transmission line. A model of the investment will be prepared as Nepal will use the transmission line to export the power.” 

Nepal has booked for energy till 25 years to make first Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur 400 KV transmission line for the investment. However, Nepal is to book for energy of the second inter-country transmission line for five to seven years only. 

Spokesperson Sharma said, “Indian side is seen positive to invest up to 50 per cent share in the company to be established in India for the construction and operation of the Project.” The NEA has only 10 per cent share in the company set up in India for the construction and operation of the first inter-country transmission line. 

The meeting also dwelt on the issue regarding the purchase of the electricity through the Electricity Distribution Company on Northern Bihar. The NEA is currently purchasing the electricity on the need basis from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on the basis of ‘purchase and pay’ and at the rate determined by the PEC. 

Spokesperson Adhikari shared that agreement was made to take necessary decision for the further purchase of electricity which would be made after holding discussion on the disputed issues in the wake of India issuing a new directive concerning the import and export of electricity with the neighboring countries. 

The NEA, as per the decision of the meeting, has been purchasing electricity through the 33 KV and 132 KV transmission line at the rate of per unit Rs 6 and Rs 5.55 Indian currency respectively. 

According to the NEA, it has been importing the electricity from India at the grave hours and in dire need at the rate fixed by the PEC. 

Currently, electricity has been imported from India to Siraha, Jaleshwor, Birgunj and Biratnagar through the 33 KV transmission line and from Kushaha-1, Kushaha-2, Gandak and Parawanipur through the 132 KV transmission line. 

NEA has been supplying power to Nepalgunj from Uttar Pradesh through 33 KV transmission line while Darchula and Baitadi have been receiving electricity supply from Uttarakhand through 11 KV transmission line. 
In the 12th meeting of PEC held on July 5 this year, NEA was unable to decide at what price it should sell the purchased electricity. Hence a decision was made to hold another meeting after three months to determine the rate for the same. 

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