NEA to be made more competitive, says energy Minister Pun

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Kathmandu, August 17

Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun has said that Nepal Electricity Authority had new challenges ahead.

At a programme organised to mark the 35th anniversary of NEA, Minister Pun, who is also the chairman of NEA Board of Directors, committed to making NEA more competent and competitive.

Reliable power supply to consumers and electrification of the remaining 10 per cent households, becoming self-reliant in electricity, increasing the level of domestic power consumption and exporting power in the external markets are the challenges ahead, the minister said.

He said the PPA would be done with the power developers from the private sector and an environment would be created for seeking competitive market for the sale of electricity.

Stating that the government will develop only reservoir-based and semi-reservoir-based mega hydropower projects, Minister Pun added that the government had advanced Upper Arun (1,061 MW) and Dudh Koshi Project (600 MW).

Also speaking at the programme, National Planning Commission Member Krishna Prasad Oli, Chairman of Electricity Regulation Commission Dilli Bahadur Singh and Energy Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire lauded the progress of the NEA made in recent time and called for institutional development of NEA, automation system upgrade and management of surplus power in the near future.

Similarly, Managing Director of NEA Kulman Ghising admitted that some under-construction projects could not be completed in time due to certain reasons despite sincere efforts, which could shadow the good performance of NEA.

He said that charging stations would be built and lift irrigation would be promoted and cooking gas would be replaced with electric oven to increase power consumption in the domestic market.

The NEA made Rs 11.06 billion in profit in the fiscal year 2019-20 which has made the NEA’s economic health sound bringing the company’s total profit to Rs 4.87 billion.

In 2015-16, the NEA had suffered total loss of Rs 34.61 billion.

Of the public enterprises in the country, NEA has been the highest profit-making public enterprise for the past two consecutive years.

Likewise, the NEA has made remarkable progress in controlling electricity leakage. The electricity leakage in system is 15.27 per cent now, which was 25.78 per cent in 2015-16.

With the control of power leakage by almost 11 per cent in four years, the NEA has saved about Rs 8 billion.

Similarly, the import of power from India has come down while the portion of Nepal’s export to India has increased in recent times.

Till the last fiscal year, Nepal imported 22 per cent of total available power and it would be reduced to between five to 10 per cent in the current fiscal year, according to Ghising.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 18, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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