Nepal and China have formed a joint technical team to expedite the construction of the first ever cross-border transmission line. The 400 kV trans-Himalayan power line will link Rasuwagadhi and Kerung across the northern border.
The group, which consists of five representatives from each country, will appoint a consultant to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) and finalise the construction and funding modality.
It was set up as per an understanding signed between State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the Chinese government appointed focal institution for the development of the power line, and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s recent visit to China.
Vice-chairman of the SGCC is coordinating the Chinese side in the technical team while Bajra Bhusan Chaudhary, deputy managing director of the NEA, is coordinating the Nepali side.
According to Komal Atreya, NEA-appointed project chief of the cross-border power line project and
member of the technical team, a meeting of the joint technical team will be held very soon to prepare a roadmap for the preparation of the DPR.
“After the roadmap is completed, the team will initiate the process to appoint a consultant to prepare the DPR for the project,” said Atreya.
The 400 kV transmission line will extend from Galchhi in Nepal to Shigatse in China. As only 80 km of the
estimated 800-km length of the transmission line lies within Nepali territory, the NEA has asked the Chinese side to take the lead in developing the project.
The Nepali portion of the power line will stretch from Galchhi in Dhading district to Rasuwagadhi on the border with China in the north, according to the NEA.
The power utility has already finalised the alignment of the power line.
According to the NEA, the Chinese side is very keen on executing the project and has prioritised it. SGCC
officials visited Nepal in early 2017 to hold talks with the Ministry of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation and the NEA to build a power line linking Rasuwagadhi and Kerung.
During the meeting, NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising asked the Chinese delegation to extend the proposed transmission line further south up to Galchhi so that it could be linked with the Nepal-India cross-border transmission line proposed to be built in Rupandehi district. As the transmission line is necessary to supply electricity to the railway service which China plans to build up to Kathmandu, the northern neighbour is very eager to develop it.
China has already erected a high voltage transmission line up to Shigatse, and if the Nepal government
shows adequate commitment, they have agreed to extend it to Kerung within one and a half years, and ultimately connect it with the power line in Nepal, according to the NEA.