January 8, 2024
KATHMANDU – Nepal and India have agreed to study the possibility of constructing new high-capacity cross-border transmission lines along with the optimisation of existing and under-construction power lines.
Such an agreement between the two sides was reached at a time when the two countries signed a long-term power trade agreement under which the southern neighbour promised to buy 10,000MW of electricity from Nepal in 10 years.
The sides signed the 25-year long-term power deal on Thursday during the visit by Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, which was initiated during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s recent visit to India.
During the 11th meeting of the Joint Steering Committee on Power Sector Cooperation on Friday, the two sides reached several agreements on transmission connectivity to boost power trade.
According to a press statement by the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, the Joint Technical Team under the steering committee was ordered to carry out the study on the new high-voltage cross-border transmission lines required to boost power trade between the two countries.
Currently, the 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur Cross Border Transmission Line is the only high-capacity power line between the two neighbours, which can transmit 1000MW power. There are about a dozen cross-border power lines, all of them are low-capacity ones.
Other four high-capacity cross-border transmission lines are in the pipelines.
The SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company, the developer of the 900MW Arun 3 Hydropower Project has been constructing a 400kV Dhalkebar-Sitamarhi line that can transmit up to 2,000MW.
Likewise, construction of the New Butwal-Gorakhpur Transmission Line, which will be able to supply up to 3,500MW, has also begun following the laying of the foundation stone to start construction of the project when Prime Minister Dahal visited New Delhi.
The two countries also agreed to develop the 400kV Inaruwa (Duhabi-Purnia, Bihar) and 400kV New Lamki (Dodhara-Bareli, Uttar Pradesh) cross-border lines by 2027-2028 and 2028-2029, respectively, according to the statement.
Besides agreeing to explore the potential of adding new high-capacity cross-border power lines, the two countries also agreed to carry out a study on how to trade up to 1000MW of power through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur. Earlier, two sides have already agreed to trade power up to 800MW through this power line.