NEA seeks investment of up to $13 billion within next 5-6 years to improve electricity related infrastructure

Published On: March 2, 2024 08:15 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The state-owned power utility urges development partners to inject necessary investment in the country’s energy sector

KATHMANDU, March 2: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has pointed out the need for an investment of US $12-13 billion in the energy sector in the next five years to enhance electricity supply for domestic consumption and cross-border electricity trade.  

In this regard, Kulman Ghising, the managing director of the NEA, called on the development partners to provide assistance in the energy sector of the country. During an on-site visit on Friday to the 220 kV New Butwal substation being constructed in Surya Basti of Sunwal Municipality-13, the NEA Chief Ghising appealed for the investment before the development partners.

The joint team of the development partners included Swiss Ambassador to Nepal Danielle Meuwly; Country Director of the World Bank (WB) for the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Faris Hadad-Zervos; Country Director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Arnaud Cauchois and representatives of European Union and the United States Agency for International Development, among others.

Ghising said there is a need for expanding the infrastructure related to electricity production and distribution in order to increase the domestic consumption and export of energy. “In the next 5-6 years, we need $6 billion for production, $5 billion for transmission lines and more than $2 billion for the distribution system,” he said.

With support of the concessional loans from the ADB, the NEA has constructed New Butwal substation under the 220 kV Kaligandaki Corridor Transmission Lines Project. In addition, the ADB has targeted to complete the financial closure of 635 MW Dudhkoshi Storage Hydroelectric Project by the end of 2024. Similarly, the WB has expressed its readiness to invest in construction of 1,063 MW Upper Arun Hydropower Project.   

Under the Kali Gandaki Corridor transmission lines project, the NEA completed the 130 double-circuit connectivity starting from the Dana Substation of Annapurna Rural Municipality-3 to the New Butwal Substation via infrastructures in Parbat, Baglung, Syangja, Palpa and Rupandehi. The transmission lines can evacuate up to 2,000 MW of electricity. With a target to increase electricity trade with India, the NEA is also constructing 400 kV New Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line, the second cross-border transmission line.

In order to facilitate domestic consumption, the NEA has planned to invest Rs 50 billion alone in the Kathmandu Valley by 2050. The state-owned power utility has prepared a master plan to increase electricity consumption in the valley to 900 MW by 2030, 1,800 MW by 2040 and 3,200 MW by 2050.  

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