KATHMANDU, Dec 2: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) earned profits of Rs 8.50 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year, mainly due to control in electricity leakage and increased sales to India and the domestic market.
According to the NEA, it earned a total revenue of Rs 32.98 billion between mid-July to mid-October this year. Of the amount, the state-owned public utility generated revenue of Rs 22.20 billion from selling electricity produced by the NEA-owned power plants and the hydropower projects run by the private sector.
Likewise, the NEA gained a notable amount from exporting electricity to India. The NEA records show that the cross-border power trade provided the authority with revenue of Rs 6.17 billion during the review period.
NEA started selling surplus electricity produced in the country during monsoon through competition in the day-ahead market of the Indian Energy Exchange Limited (IEX) from June 2. The average price per unit of exported electricity is Rs 7.91.
Initially, 39 megawatts of electricity produced by two power plants were sold to IEX on a daily basis. Later on, from June 10, the NEA started selling 364 MW of electricity, produced by six hydropower plants, in the Indian market at competitive rates.
NEA has been making profits for the past six years. In the fiscal year 2019/20, the NEA earned profits of Rs 11.75 billion, which was reduced to Rs 6.09 billion in the following year. In the last fiscal year, the amount surged to Rs 16.16 billion.
NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising said a growth in profit was due to the NEA’s constant effort to reduce power leakage in the distribution system and increased domestic consumption and exports to India.
NEA has set a target of earning Rs 16 billion from power export in this fiscal year. At present, the authority can export surplus energy only until December, after which Nepal will have to import energy from its southern neighbor as the production falls during the winter season.
Ghising said the authority has been investing its profit amount in the enhancement of the infrastructure related to the distribution system to ensure reliable and quality electricity supply to the public. According to him, Nepal needs an additional investment of up to Rs 400 billion in the next five years to strengthen electricity supply across the country.