NEA says Bhairahwa SEZ not starting work to build substation

Published On: January 22, 2018 07:26 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Maintains that it was already providing power supply to industries preparing to set up plants in SEZ.

KATHMANDU, Jan 22: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Sunday said that it would provide electricity supply to the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Bhairahawa by mid-April. It also maintained that it has arranged power supply to industries that are in the process of setting up plants in SEZ. 

NEA officials, however, say that it would be possible only if construction of a substation with a capacity of 33/11 KV is completed by then.

The substation has to be built by SEZ Bhairahawa. NEA will build transmission line up to the substation only. SEZ Bhairahawa, however, has not even invited tender to build the substation. Going through the NEA's procurement process, it takes around six months to open tender and select the contractor. The contractor takes 15 to 18 months to complete the work

Kulman Ghising, executive director of NEA, alleged that the SEZ Bhairahawa was trying to run away from its responsibility by putting blame on NEA. “We will complete construction transmission line to the SEZ and start electricity supply by mid-April. SEZ itself is not doing the needful for construction of a substation and pointing fingers at NEA,” he added.

Ghising also maintained that NEA has already provided electricity required for industries that have been established at SEZ. 

NEA is currently supplying electricity to the industries through a single-circuit transmission line of 33KV capacity. As the capacity is not sufficient for all the industries that would be opened in SEZ, the energy utility is building a separate transmission line. It is building double-circuit transmission line of 33 KV from Joikuti Substation of Tilottama Municipality to SEZ.

Despite the government's effort to clear right of way for the transmission line, there are some obstructions that are slowing the work to build construction line, according to NEA officials. Work on Joikuti-Bharauliya section has been affected due to delay in getting forest clearance permission. Similarly, work on Bharauliya-Dagdahi section has come to a halt after the locals demanded the NEA to change the alignment of pylons.

“We are holding with concerned ministries, local representatives, local people and other stakeholders to clear all the obstacles to expediting transmission line works. If these obstacles are not removed very soon, it will be difficult to supply electricity to SEZ by mid-April,” said Ghising.

All the 19 companies, which have already signed an agreement with the SEZ management to open their industries, have not started their work yet, citing lack of electricity. NEA, however, states that it was providing electricity for the industries from the 11 KV transmission line.

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