Nepal adds 150mw of hydro energy in 2017
Jan 1, 2018-The country’s energy sector marked the beginning of 2017 with addition of 50MW of electricity to the national grid. The power was generated by Lamjung-based Upper Marshyangdi-A Hydroelectric Project. As the year 2017 drew to a close, 15 other hydropower projects with total installed capacity of around 100MW started generating electricity, giving a much needed lifeline to Nepal’s energy sector suffering from acute power shortage.
Altogether, 16 hydropower projects with total installed capacity of around 150MW started generating electricity in 2017. These projects were built by private companies while Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)—the state owned power utility—contributed nothing in electricity generation in 2017. Nevertheless, the construction work of a few key projects owned by the NEA was carried out at war footing with these projects set to generate electricity within a few months.
One such example is the Chameliya Hydropower Project, which will start generating 30MW of energy within a couple of weeks. Likewise, the 456MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project owned by the NEA is nearing completion, with more than 90 percent of the construction finished. It is set to generate electricity in July.
Along with these hydropower projects, the energy sector also witnessed a major milestone in the area of transmission line construction. The 132 kV Blanch-Attariya transmission line which will evacuate electricity produced by Chameliya Hydropower Project to the national grid, has been brought into operation. Recently, the NEA successfully conducted tests of the crucial transmission line that links hilly areas in the far western region to the national power grid in far western business hub of Attariya. However, other transmission line projects failed to make a headway as they were bogged down by delays. One of the main reasons behind the delay was the inability to secure rights-of-way (ROWs) from private landowners. The ROW refers to the land where transmission towers are erected and the corridor above which the electricity cables pass through. Majority of the projects are facing disputes with private landowners who are demanding compensation well above the existing provision of 10 percent of the value of the land to award ROW of their land parcels.