The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has begun building high capacity transmission lines to supply regular electricity to industrial areas that are currently in operation or are scheduled to come into operation in the near future.
Currently, the state-owned power utility is supplying electricity to these industrial estates via 33 kV power lines, but it wants to upgrade them to 132 kV double circuit lines in the near future.
The NEA said the upgradation of the transmission lines and substations would ensure regular energy to factories that have been suffering from abrupt power cuts.
To this end, the NEA has started the construction of high-voltage transmission lines and substations in Sunsari, Siraha, Dhanusha, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Nawalparasi and Rupandehi districts.
The NEA went to work after Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun told it to solve the problems being faced by industries due to sudden power outages.
The NEA has begun to upgrade the power lines and substations when the country is poised to become an energy surplus nation with the completion of the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. According to the power utility, the existing power lines and substations will not be able to handle the additional electricity that will be added to the national grid after a number of projects, including Upper Tamakoshi, come online.
NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising this week visited the construction sites of various transmission lines and substations and directed the project officials, contractors and consultants to complete the construction on time.
“We are working to prepare a ring of 132 kV transmission lines considering the industrial corridors and special economic zones in Janakpur, Hetauda, Chitwan, Bhairahawa and other places,” said Ghising. “If such infrastructure is built, we will be able to supply electricity as per demand besides avoiding tripping of transmission lines due to overloading.”
Electricity supply to industries will increase while leakage will also be minimized, according to Ghising. “We have eliminated load-shedding,” he said. “But we need to increase demand for electricity as there will be an increase in supply after many under-construction projects come online within two years.”
The NEA has started the construction of power lines and substations considering the existing factories and new ones that will be built in the near future in Nawalparasi and Rupandehi districts. It has started the construction of a 132 kV double circuit transmission line from Bardaghat to Sardi where Hongshi-Shivam Cement, a Chinese joint venture, has its factory.
Likewise, the power utility is also on track to complete the construction a 33 kV double circuit transmission line to supply electricity to factories in the special economic zone in Bhairahawa. The power line will be completed within a couple of months, the NEA said.