ENERGY Now, Net Importer

With unreasonable demands for compensation of land from a small local group, the construction of Tanahu Hydropower Project is likely to get delayed for a few months. A group of people, who are claiming the land rights, are demanding the compensation of land five to ten times higher than the existing land price.

Issue Name : Vol.10,No 16,April 7,2017 (Chaitra 25,2073)

With unreasonable demands for compensation of land from a small local group, the construction of Tanahu Hydropower Project is likely to get delayed for a few months. A group of people, who are claiming the land rights, are demanding the compensation of land five to ten times higher than the existing land price.

District Administrative Office is responsible to fix the land price. The criteria for compensation of land are fixed on the basis of use of land, location, existing market rate and price set by district land revenue offices for the purpose land registration.

As per legal criteria, DAO fixes the prices of land per ropani ranging from Rs. 200,000.00 to Rs. 800,000.00. However, locals are demanding eight million rupees per ropani. The project has fixed the prices surveying and visiting each and every piece of land.

Tanahu is not the first hydro power project to suffer from local disturbance. Dozens of projects including hydropower and transmission lines with over 500 MW capacity are suffering from land acquisition issues.

As construction of Nepal’s own projects is delayed, Nepal is compelled to import electricity from India to fill the gap existing in the supply.

As development of Nepal’s hydropower projects are delayed or obstructed in one or the other way, Nepal’s dependence on India has increased as India is now a net exporter of electricity to Nepal.

According to Nepal Electricity Authority, Nepal imported electricity from India worth of 12.98 billion rupees in the last fiscal year. NEA believes that Nepal needs to pay almost 15 billion rupees for import of electricity from India. “Given the recent increase of import price, 5.5 percent, the amount will increase further,” said Prabal Adhikary, spokesperson of Nepal Electricity Authority.

India’s Export

As per Central Electricity Authority, the Designated Authority of Government of India for Cross Border Trade of Electricity, for the first time, India has turned around from a net importer of electricity to net exporter of electricity.

During the current year 2016-17 (April to February 2017), India has exported around 5,798 Million Units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar which is 213 Million units more than the import of around 5,585 Million units from Bhutan. Export to Nepal and Bangladesh increased 2.5 and 2.8 times respectively in last three years.

“Ever since the cross border trade of electricity started in mid-Eighties, India has been importing power from Bhutan and marginally exporting to Nepal in radial mode at 33 kV and 132 kV from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. On an average Bhutan has been supplying around 5,000- 5500 Million units to India,” said a press release issued by Indian Embassy.

India had also been exporting around 190 MW power to Nepal over 12 cross border interconnections at 11kV, 33kV and 132 kV levels. The export of power to Nepal further increased by around 145 MW with commissioning of Muzaffarpur (India)– Dhalkhebar(Nepal) 400kV line (being operated at 132 kV) in 2016.

Export of power to Bangladesh from India got a further boost with commissioning of 1st cross border Interconnection between Baharampur in India and Bheramara in Bangladesh at 400kV in September 2013. It was further augmented by commissioning of 2nd cross border Interconnection between Surjyamaninagar (Tripura) in India and South Comilla in Bangladesh. At present around 600 MW power is being exported to Bangladesh.

Export of power to Nepal is expected to increase by around 145 MW shortly over 132 kV Katiya (Bihar)– Kusaha (Nepal) and 132 kV Raxaul (Bihar)– Parwanipur (Nepal).

“A few more cross border links with neighboring countries are in pipe line which would further increase export of power,” said Indian Embassy.

According to the statement, during the current year 2016-17 (April-February), India has exported around 5,798 Million Units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, which is 213 Million units more than the import of around 5,585 Million units from Bhutan. Export to Nepal and Bangladesh increased 2.5 and 2.8 times respectively in the last three years.

NEA MD Kulman Ghising

"After Apirl, we will also end loadshedding for industries. Nepal’s power sector is heading towards a secure environment. There is a peak demand of 1200-1300 MW but we produce only over 500 MW," said Kul Man Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electiricty Authoirty. ”We imported 1730 GWH electicity last year worth 14 billion rupees. We have imported 1972 GWH, expecting the price to be Rs.15 billion. It was just 14 percent more than the last year. Our import was 35 percent this year from 33 percent earlier.”

”Out of 32 billion rupees in total revenue, we spent 44 percent revenue to import electricty from India. This year our total revenue will be 44 billion, 32 percnet  will be spent for import,” Ghising said.

The import of electricity is helping us to use optimum level of peaking power back home. We have been running Kaligandaki and Marsyangdi in peak time with full capacity. Cross border energy import is our reservoir to maintain secured supply.

”We are importing more power from Tanakpur and Dhalkebar as the rate from both the transmission line is cheaper as we are paying Indian Rupees 3.60 per unit from both as there is take and pay system.” However, transbounary connection from 33 KV and 132 KV transmission line is expensive. We are paying Indian Rupees 5.62 from Kosi Kataiya, IC Rs.6.08 fom 33 KV of Jajnakpur and 6.54 from Bihar,” said NEA MD Ghising.

”Our system is still vulnurable as there is a huge gap between demand and supply. After completion of Upper Tamakosi next year, Nepal will be in a positon to export power in wet seasson as we will have a surplus energy then.”

As construction of Nepal’s hydropower projects and transmission lines are being delayed one after another due to several reasons, Nepal’s dependency on India for electricity will further increase.

 

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