KATHMANDU, Aug 17: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun has said that the Nepal Electricity Authority’s (NEA) success has also added challenges.
Speaking at a program organized to mark the 35th anniversary of NEA on Monday, Minister Pun expressed a commitment to extend all the necessary support to make the organization stronger and more competitive. “It is challenging to provide reliable electricity to the consumers and to electrify the remaining 10 percent households. It is equally challenging to become self-reliant in electricity, consume more surplus electricity within the country and sell it in the international market in the future,” he said, “We have heard complaints that electricity from some projects could not be connected to the grid as the construction of transmission infrastructures have been delayed.
He said that a power purchase agreement (PPA) would be signed with the private sector hydropower projects and an investment friendly environment would be created by finding a competitive market for electricity. Stating that the government will only build large reservoir and semi-reservoir hydropower projects, Minister Pun said that the country is set to be self-reliant in energy. He mentioned that the government has started the construction of 1,061 MW Upper Arun and 600 MW Dudhkoshi Hydropower projects.
Member of the National Planning Commission Krishna Prasad Oli directed the NEA to complete the under-construction projects on time and with the estimated investment, improve the old structure and focus on expansion to provide quality electricity service to the customers.
Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Dinesh Kumar Ghimire said that NEA should operate according to the institutional development plan, improve the system and make it automated, cut costs, improve customer service and manage more electricity to maintain the image it has created by ending load shedding.
Kulman Ghising, managing director of NEA, said that some under-construction projects could not be completed on time due to various reasons despite continuous efforts. He also mentioned that many good deeds done by the organization will be overshadowed by this. “Days ahead are challenging for the NEA,” he said.
The Authority has declared this year as the year of increasing electricity consumption. In order to increase the consumption of electricity within the country, electric vehicle charging stations will be constructed and programs such as promotion of electric vehicles, promotion of lift irrigation and replacement of cooking gas with electric stoves will be conducted.