Nepal to ask India to buy 1,200 MW of locally-produced electricity

Published On: February 16, 2023 10:27 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The two countries are sitting for bilateral energy talks on Friday and Saturday

KATHMANDU, Feb 16: Nepal is going to ask India to open the gateway allowing the Himalayan nation to export up to 1,200 MW of electricity to the South Asian giant.

According to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI), a 15-member Nepali delegation on Thursday left for a meeting being organized in India. In the meeting, Nepal will be forwarding its proposal to its southern neighbor at the 10th Nepal-India Secretary (Joint Steering Committee - JSC) and Joint Secretary (Joint Working Group - JWG) meetings to start from Friday to import up to 1,200MW of electricity from Nepal. The two-day bilateral meeting is being organized in Rajasthan, India.

As of now, India has permitted Nepal to sell only 452 MW of hydroelectricity produced from 10 different projects by using the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line during the rainy season. Citing that the country will have an additional production of 700-1,000 MW of electricity in the upcoming rainy season, the government is forwarding the proposal to the Indian authorities, according to Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal, spokesperson for the MoEWRI.

Similarly, the Nepali team will also be requesting the Indian side to upgrade the transmission of the amount of electricity that flows through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line. The proposal will include upgrading from the existing 600 MW at maximum to 800 MW through the cross-border transmission line, according to the MoEWRI.

The Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line can carry up to 1,000 MW of electricity. The transmission line has not been used in its full capacity so far. However, Nepal has been paying a wheeling charge of Rs 1.8 billion annually to India including the total charge of this transmission line.

Nepal has aimed to produce 15,000 MW of electricity by 2030. On the other hand, India has set a target of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2070. For this purpose, the use of renewable energy is necessary.

Earlier, both the countries sat for talks in the 8th meetings of JWG and JSC, which were held through virtual means during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 9th meeting was organized last year in Kathmandu.

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