April 30, 2012
Reposted from The Indian Express
By Anil Sasi
With three key projects aimed at beefing up the power transmission capacity between India and Nepal achieving completion, an additional 40 MW of electricity transfer from India to the Himalyan nation is expected to commence over the next couple of months.
The wrapping up of the projects by the Indian side — executed on the ground by state-owned transmission major Power Grid Corporation — comes at a time when the country is working hard to set the ball rolling on its strategic initiative of putting in place a multilateral SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) on the lines of the Nord Pool in the Scandinavian countries and the West African Power Pool.
Power-starved Nepal, which is facing an electricity deficit of around 300 MW, currently draws around 50 MW from Bihar currently under a bilateral pact, along with some additional transfers from NHPC’s Tanakpur hydro station in Uttarakhand.
Extra power transfers from India would help Nepal in a big way to bridge the continuing electricity shortages back home.
Nepal has already, in pinciple, agreed to substantially ramp up power buys from India, with plans already underway to increase the power exchange volume to 200 MW by ramping up capacity between the two countries.
For the additional purchases, the Himalayan nation plans to tap the short-term electricity market window existing in India, including the two operational power exchanges, accroding to the decision taken at the Tenth meeting of the Indo-Nepal Power Exchange Committee held here in December 2011.
On the larger SAARC grid plan, while a transmission link with Bhutan is already in place, there are plans to augment the existing line to enable up to 5,000 MW of electricity imports into India by 2020. With Sri Lanka, plans are under way for setting up a $450-million undersea power transmission link.
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