RASUWA, Dec 22: The government of China has agreed to purchase electricity produced in Nepal. During a joint technical meeting between Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) on Saturday, the Chinese government has signed an agreement to purchase electricity from Nepal after the construction of Nepal-China cross-border transmission line. The SGCC is the state-owned electric utility monopoly of China.
As per the agreement, both countries will trade power through the cross-border transmission line.
According to Komalnath Atreya, chief of Ratmate (Galchhi)-Rasuwagadhi-Kerung Transmission Line Project, the agreement paves the way for power trade between the two countries. “The load-follow study of the project will start within the next two weeks. A joint team of NEA and SGCC will conduct the study,” he said, adding that the cross-border transmission line is a priority for China as well.
The 400-KV project is the first cross-border transmission line with China. The completion of the project will also pave the way for Nepal to sell electricity to Bangladesh.
The transmission line will be 400-KV double-circuit in the Nepali side and 500-KV double-circuit on the Chinese side. The pre-feasibility study of the project to be constructed from Kerung of China to Ratamate of Nepal has been completed.
There will be 214 towers in the transmission line. According to Atreya, the feasibility and environmental study should be completed within two years. The draft report of the feasibility study was submitted on March 17, 2019.
The study report has the details about the number of towers, locations to install the towers, river areas, and national park areas, among others. The substation on the Nepali side will be located at Ratamate, whereas in the Chinese side the substation will be placed at Jilong County of Tibet.
The distance of the transmission line from Rasuwagadhi border point to Ratamate is 70 kilometers. The cross border transmission line is targeted to be completed within six years. The project is being handled by the Department of Project Development under Nepal Electricity Authority.
Atreya further added that the SGCC and NEA had agreed to jointly prepare the detailed project report (DPR). This is the first cross-border transmission line with China, while Nepal has 11 cross-border transmission lines with India.
The northern neighbor, under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is aiming to expand transmission lines with seven continents within 2030. After Nepal is connected to China with the transmission line, it will connect India and other Asian countries.
The cross-border transmission line with China will be constructed in government-to-government (G2G) model, as per a bilateral pact signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Nepal in October.