KATHMANDU, August 18: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) enjoyed one of the best fiscal years in its history in FY2016/17.
The energy utility posted an impressive 42 percent growth in revenue to Rs 50 billion, while it managed to bring down its annual loss to a 10-year low in the review period.
Thanks to end of load-shedding, the NEA earned revenue of Rs 50 billion in FY2016/17, up from Rs 35 billion in the previous fiscal year. Similarly, its net loss plunged to Rs 978 million in FY2016/17, down from a whopping Rs 8.89 billion in 2015/16. Likewise, NEA’s total energy sales grew by 28 percent to 4,776 GWh, while its technical loss fell by a record 2.88 percentage points to 22.90 percent.
In FY2015/16, NEA posted revenue growth of only 4.28 percent, while its technical losses had come down by 1.34 percentage points.
The utility has been in red since FY2006/07 when it posted net profit of Rs 240 million.
Hike in energy tariff by 18 percent from mid-July 2016 is one of the factors that helped the NEA to put impressive revenue growth. But the remarkable achievement is mainly due to efficient management of the energy utility under the leadership of its Managing Director Kulman Ghising.
Unveiling the annual report of the NEA at a function organized to celebrate its 32nd anniversary in Kathmandu on Thursday, Ghising said that past fiscal year was historic for the NEA in terms of load-shedding management, loss reduction and financial performance.
Kathmandu and Pokhara were made-load shedding free almost throughout the fiscal year, while power cut to other areas of the country reduced significantly.
“We operated projects like Kaligandaki, Marshyangdi and Middle Marshyangdi for peaking operation during dry season to meet the peak demand of the system,” Ghising said.
Energy output by plants developed by independent power producers increased by 52 percent to 1,777 GWh as 10 new projects started generation in the review year. Likewise, NEA’s energy generation grew by 8.06 percent to 2,305 GWh even though no new project was connected to the national grid.
Though the NEA had planned to bring its new projects -- Kulekhani III (14 MW) and Chameliya (30 MW) in the last fiscal year, it could not happen. Likewise, work of Upper Trishuli 3A (60 MW) remained halted for about two years because of the 2015 earthquakes. Work of the project resume recently, according to the NEA’s annual report.
When Ghising managed to end load-shedding in the Kathmandu Valley in October last year, many had criticized his move, alleging Ghising of ending load-shedding by using water of Kulekhani reservoir, which is generally reserved for the dry season, and also importing more electricity. But the NEA’s annual report shows that electricity import increased by only 22 percent to 1,777 GWh in FY2016/17 compared to growth of 28 percent in the previous fiscal year.
Share of imported energy in total available energy, however, remained the same at 35 percent in FY2016/17 and the previous fiscal year.
52% GROWTH IN GENERATION BY PRIVATE DEVELOPERS
The year also marked a record growth of 52 percent in electricity generation by projects promoted by independent power producers (IPPs). A total of 10 projects with installed capacity of 116.61 MW, including Upper Marshyangdi ‘A’ Hydropower Project (50 MW) started generation in the review year. Power generation from plants promoted by IPPs had posted negative growth of 7.55 percent to 1173.14 GWh last year. With these 10 new projects, IPPs now have 60 projects having total installed capacity of 441.05 MW.