November 20: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has added 3,118 circuit kilometers of transmission lines to the electricity transmission system of the country in the last nine years.
Transmission and distribution lines and substations are required to deliver the electricity produced from the power plants to the customers' homes. For this purpose, the NEA is constructing transmission lines and substations through the Directorate of Transmission and Project Management.
Nine years ago i.e. in the fiscal year 2071/72, the capacity of substations was only 2,132 MVA, but in the year 2079/80 it reached 8,867 MVA.
In the year 2071/72, electricity was being transmitted only from 66 and 132 KV transmission lines but now it is done through 66, 132, 220 and 400 KV lines. In the year 2071/72, there were 2,624 circuit kilometers of transmission lines. By FY 2079/80, the country has 5,742 circuit kilometers of transmission lines with the addition of 3,118 circuit kilometers of new lines.
Currently, the length of 66 and 132 kV transmission lines in the system is 514 and 3,979 circuit kilometers respectively.
Similarly, the length of 220 and 400 KV transmission lines is 1,101 and 148 circuit kilometers respectively. Last year, 413 circuit kilometers of transmission lines were added to the system.
Kulman Ghising, the executive director of the NEA, has admitted that there are problems in the construction of transmission line projects, mainly due to the obstacles created by the locals. In addition to this, there are also problems in land acquisition and use of forest area and tree cutting, and the NEA is working to solve these problems, added Ghising.
"On one hand, it takes a long time for the approval of the use of forest area land and tree felling, and on the other hand, a large amount of money has to be paid as compensation to another agency of the government. This not only prolongs the duration of the project, but also increases the price of our produced electricity," said Executive Director Ghising.
There is an urgent need to declare the next 10 years as the country's development decade and comprehensively amend or replace the existing laws and regulations, to facilitate the land use of the forest area, said Ghising, adding that the programs announced in the current fiscal year's budget should be implemented as soon as possible.
In order to meet the demand for electricity till 2050, Ghising said that the major cities of the country including Kathmandu have been divided into 11 clusters for which the NEA has prepared the transmission and substation structure master plan.
According to the NEA, currently 2,852 circuit kilometers of transmission lines of various capacities are under construction. A maximum of 1,111 circuit kilometers of 132 KV transmission lines are under construction. Likewise, 988 and 754 circuit kilometers of 220 and 400 KV transmission lines are under construction respectively.
Similarly, 10,469 MVA capacity substations of various capacities are under construction while 15,564 MVA capacity substations are proposed for construction.