NEA struggles to manage electricity distribution after domestic production declines around 20 pc

Published On: February 5, 2023 08:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 5: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) says electricity production in the country has dropped significantly due to a drastic fall in water level in rivers due to a dry spell for a long time in most parts of the country.

NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising said receding water levels in rivers have resulted in a heavy decline in the domestic production. He said that the NEA’s electricity production has gone down to one-third of the production on a normal day during winter.

According to Ghising, the state-owned power utility produced 600 MW of electricity per day from its operated power plants in winter last year, which has come down to just 200 MW now. 

“The overall production (including private sector production) has declined by 20 percent on average,” said Ghising, who also claimed that the electricity production in the dry season this year is perhaps almost one of the lowest in the past one decade.

Lack of rainfall has also taken down the actual production of the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. Compared to 110 MW of production during this season last year, the electricity generation at present is only 75 MW.

Nepal’s most of the installed hydropower projects are run-of-river type. Although the country’s total electricity production capacity has reached 2,200 MW, the production now stands at only around 35 percent of the installed capacity.

On Thursday evening, the NEA recorded the peak demand of 1,634 MW. The NEA has started rationing the power distribution, citing high demand amid scanty production. Ghising said the authority has cut down supply to industries in peak demand time during morning and evening.

With the soaring gap between demand and supply, the import of electricity from India has also increased by a notable amount. According to the NEA, around 10 million units of electricity out of the daily demand of 30 million units is being imported from India on a daily basis.  

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