Demand for electricity falls due to lockdown

Published On: March 26, 2020 06:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

NEA reducing imports from India to 50 MW from today

KATHMANDU, March 26: The demand for electricity has dropped as factories and industrial enterprises – the major consumer of electricity – remain shut with the announcement of nationwide lockdown.

The government on Monday evening announced a lockdown for a week starting Tuesday morning.

The demand for energy has fallen hotels, corporate and offices along with factories have remained shut, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). The load has shrunk as there is demand only from household users, it added.

Average daily demand for electricity stands at 1,200 MW during peak hour on normal days, according to the NEA. The demand fell to 945 MW at 7 pm on Tuesday. It fell further to 446 MW on Wednesday morning. It was 628 MW at Wednesday noon.

The peak time demand in Kathmandu Valley, which used to consume 350 MW on normal days, was 290 MW on Tuesday. Likewise, the demand was 103 MW in the morning and 117 MW in the nighttime. According to the NEA, the demand on Wednesday noon was 182 MW.

Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA said that the demand, has fallen drastically due to shutdown of offices and industrial units. “The electricity load has seen a decline as industries and factories as well as corporate houses have been closed. Development projects have also stopped all their activities. Only the essential services and household users are consuming power now,” Ghising added.

Assuring household users of uninterrupted supply, he urged people to switch to induction stoves if there is shortage of cooking gas in the market because of the lockdown.

Stating there might be some obstruction in power supply in some places due to rain, wind and technical problem, he said that NEA has put technical manpower on standby to fix the problem.

With the decline in electricity demand, the NEA has reduced power imports from India. It has also stopped using Kulekhani plants – the only reservoir plants in the country so far.

“We are importing only 150 MW of electricity from India via Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line that too during peak hours,” Ghising said, adding that imports from India will drop further to 50 MW from Thursday night.

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