The capacity of Nepal’s power plants has grown from 2,200 to 2,700 megawatts (MW), but the export quota that India has previously granted for Nepal and is now at 452.6MW has not been raised.
This has sparked worries about potential electrical spills since it is the most likely result in the absence of prompt permission by India for an increase in Nepal’s electricity supply quota.
The government-run Nepal power Authority (NEA) claims that it has submitted requests for clearance from over a dozen projects to the Indian authorities so that they may export the produced power to their southern neighbor. A few of the clearances are still pending as of August 2021.
If the permission for selling electricity from the extra projects is not given quickly, there may be some partial leakage in July, according to NEA spokeswoman Suresh Bhattarai.
However, NEA officials claim that it is unlikely that there would be a significant power leakage considering the number of projects that have been harmed by recent flooding, especially in eastern areas, and the time it may take for them to recover.
Because of the recent floods in eastern Nepal, only 120 MW of electricity is being produced by projects in the Kabeli corridor, down from 200 MW before, according to Bhattarai. In addition to the loss of life, a number of hydroelectric projects suffered significant damage from the floods.
According to a Kantipur study, the recent floods in eastern Nepal harmed 17 projects that were under development, totaling 17 projects with a combined capacity of 326.83MW, in addition to 13 functioning projects with a combined capacity of 132.74MW.
It can need a long time to restore them. This year’s hydrology is not excellent. Once again, the load will rise beginning in mid-August, according to Prabal Adhikari, NEA’s director of power trading.
According to him, there might potentially spill over in this situation in late July for a few hours.
Adhikari said that if India does not begin importing more over 452.6MW from Nepal, a larger power leakage might begin as early as October. Recently, Nepal has been exporting 7000–8000MW hours a day, or 292–333MW, to India’s day-ahead market.
Bhattarai claims that on Friday, Nepal’s total peak demand was 1,932 MW, while its power plants produced 2,149 MW. Due to stronger generation than peak needs, he said, “We sold power even during the country’s peak hours.”
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, said that his nation will purchase 10,000MW from Nepal over the next ten years. While the Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was in India from May 31 to June 3, he made the news in a press conference together.
But India has been seen to be hesitant in hastening the approval process when it comes to approving Nepal’s power projects and allowing them to export energy.
The NEA claims that some projects were put forth to the Indian government as early as August 2021, and permission was requested to export electricity to the country’s southern neighbor.
On August 20, 2021, proposals for the projects Chameliya (29.1 MW) and Upper Bhotekoshi (43.65 MW) were made to the Indian side, and Indian government clearance was requested.
In January 2022, the Indian side was presented with a proposal for the 456MW Upper Tamakoshi.
The remaining four projects, Upper Chaku 1 (21.53MW), Super Madi (42.68MW), Super Dordi ‘Kha’ (52.38MW), and Likhu 2 (50.89MW), were submitted to the Indian side for clearance for exports. On April 14, the NEA sent its list to India.
The delay by India in approving more Nepali power projects led to massive power spillages during Dashain and Tihar festivals the previous year.
The managing director of NEA, Kul Man Ghising, had expressed confidence that the southern neighbor will approve the projects as soon as possible at a news conference on June 18.
Ghising had said that the approval procedure was still proceeding. Before the power spillages start, “we are hopeful that the Indian authorities will approve more projects.”