KATHAMNDU, Nov 26: Nepal’s import of electricity from India has been reduced owing to measures taken by India to tackle New Delhi’s air pollution.
Import of electricity from India via two routes -- Dhalkebar-Mujaffarpur transmission line and Tanakpur -- have been reduced by 25 MW and 30 MW respectively since November 17.
The supply via Dhalkebar has been reduced to 75 MW while it has gone down to zero via Tanakpur. Indian authorities have informed Nepal Electricity Authority that the supply was affected due to measures taken to control air pollution in Indian cities as ordered by the Supreme Court of India.
The court has banned use of two high pollutant sources of energy -- pet coke and furnace oil -- in industries effective from November 17 and Shree Cement Limited, which was supplying electricity to Indian power supplier to Nepal -- NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN).
Both the NVVN and PTC India Limited did not have enough power to supply to Nepal. The NVVN is supplying energy via Dhalkebar at the price of IRs 3.60 per unit while PTC India is supplying via Tanakpur at the price of IRs 3.44 per unit, based on short-term power sale agreement with the NEA.
According to spokesperson of the NEA Prabal Adhikari, both the companies informed them that their supply to Nepal was affected from midnight of November 18 and they were trying to find another source of energy to feed in their system.
“However this cut in the supply has not immediately affected electricity supply in our country as water discharge in the snow-fed rivers that generate electricity in the country has not yet reduced yet,” said Adhikari.
Such ban on using pet-coke and furnace oil is in effect in Uttar Pradesh, Hariayana, Rajsthan, New Delhi and other cities connected to the capital city.
“PTC India Limited has informed that they are looking for alternatives for resuming the supply,” said Adhikari, adding that either the supplier will find alternative source of energy or wait for the cement factory to switch to another source of energy.
Meanwhile, from Friday night, NVVN, India’s government-owned nodal agency for energy trading with Nepal, has improved supply via the Dhalkebar-Mujaffarpur transmission line to 100 MW. However, the NEA officials said they do not have information yet on how the supply has been managed. Out of the total agreed import capacity of 145 MW via the line, the NEA has ordered for 120 MW for December.
Meanwhile, Nepal-India Joint Steering Committee, a secretary-level bilateral committee to deal with power trading, is not going to meet this month as planned. This delay may affect renewing power trading via Dhalkebar.
The NEA is under pressure to add power supply in its system for upcoming winter and dry season, as its attempt of importing more energy via India could not materialize due to delay in construction of the substation at Dhalkebar. Moreover, its plans of installing solar plants of 25 MW capacities and importing energy-efficient led bulbs landed into controversy.