By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Jan.15: The government is readying to allow the private sector to trade electricity abroad within a month and a half. Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal has said that a procedure is being prepared to allow the private sector to trade electricity and the work will be completed within one-and-a-half months.
In a meeting with the delegation of the Confederation of Nepalese industries (CNI) led by its president Vishnu Kumar Agrawal on Friday, Minister Bhusal informed that the working procedure was being prepared with the intention to facilitate the private sector for inter-country electricity trade.
"We want to involve the private sector in electricity exports," she said, adding, "We will not allow electricity to be imported. You have to find a destination and export it." She informed that the government would prepare procedures to enable the private sector to sell electricity directly in the international market. "We will prepare procedures to facilitate those who generate and sell electricity themselves," she said.
She said that the private sector should be involved not only in power generation but also in transmission and that the government would take special initiative to export electricity to Bangladesh. Minister Bhusal added that the private sector should also look for a market in India as it is the main market for electricity generated in Nepal. She said that the power purchase agreement (PPA) of the semi-reservoir hydropower project would not be stopped. "PPA may have been stopped due to some technical reasons, but we will move forward with it."
Stating that India and Bangladesh were the two important destinations for the export of electricity generated in Nepal, Energy Secretary Devendra Karki said that the government had tried to move ahead with the work of electricity trade through separate high level mechanisms in both the countries. CNI President Agrawal said that there was high demand for renewable energy in Bangladesh and urged the government to create a conducive environment for export of electricity generated in Nepal. "While exporting electricity is challenging, the potential is great," he said. "The private sector is ready and able to work towards it. The government has given permission."
President Agrawal urged Minister Bhusal to form a high-level mechanism involving the government and the private sector to take forward the work of power export. He said that the mechanism to be formed with the participation of private sector could work based on the government to government or government to private sector level for electricity export. Commenting on the proposal of the CNI, Minister Bhusal said that the government was ready to export electricity from Nepal to India and Bangladesh through the existing transmission lines or build a new transmission line if they are not sufficient.
"We are ready to move forward even if we have to pay the wheeling charge on the existing transmission line or build new lines. We are ready for both the options with the participation of the private sector." she said.