October 7: The construction of the first section of the 220 KV Koshi Corridor transmission line from Inaruwa of Sunsari to Tumlingtar via Basantapur and Baneshwor of Sankhuwasabha has been completed. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and Exim Bank of India recently held a program in Dhankuta and announced the completion of the transmission line under the first package.
The construction of this section has been completed with the concessional loan of the Government of Nepal and the Exim Bank of India. Exim Bank had given a concessional loan of USD 90 million for this project with the estimated cost of USD 112 million.
The Koshi Corridor transmission line project can transmit about 1,000 MW of electricity from Tumlingtar to Basantapur, about 1,000 MW from Dhungesanghu (Taplejung) to Basantapur and about 2,000 MW from Basantapur to Inaruwa. In addition, a transmission and distribution network will be created for reliable power supply in the districts of Province 1.
At the program, Biswajit Garg, a representative of Exim Bank handed over the transmission line of the section to Madhu Prasad Bhetwal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and Kulman Ghising, Managing Director of NEA.
Ghising said that the foundation has been prepared in Province 1 for the transmission and distribution of electricity. He said Koshi Corridor and Kabeli Corridor transmission lines are being linked to ensure reliable power supply in the province.
Bhetwal said that the infrastructure has been prepared to supply electricity to the consumers of the Arun and Tamor reservoir hydropower projects. He further said that construction of transmission lines has ensured the investment of the private sector.
NEA also plans to extend the second circuit of the transmission line and expand the capacity of 220 KV line and power transformers. NEA has already written to the Exim Bank asking for the required investment for the project. The project is estimated to cost USD 40 million.
The project was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The construction was affected when various equipment and technicians required for the construction couldn't reach the project site on time. The transmission project has been constructed by dividing it into three packages.
The first package includes construction of Inaruwa-Tumlingtar transmission line, three substations will be constructed in the second package while in the third package transmission line and substation from Terhathum to Dhungesanghu of Taplejung in Basantapur will be built.
Koshi Corridor is being built to connect the electricity generated from the Arun and Tamor rivers and their secondary rivers. It will connect electricity produced in Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, Terhathum and Taplejung to the national transmission line. The construction of the first section has been completed and 80 and 70 percent works of the second and third packages have also been completed respectively. The project is set to be completed by March 2022.
A 220 KV substation is currently under construction in Inaruwa. The construction of substations and completion of 220/132/33 KV Inaruwa substation under the second package is underway and is expected to complete by December, 2021.
At present, electricity generated by private sector projects is being supplied through 33 KV transmission lines. The new transmission line has resolved the problem of transmission faced by the projects of the area during the rainy season. The projects in Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha and Tehrathum were not able to run at full capacity during the rainy season due to insufficient capacity of the Tirtire-Basantapur-Dhankuta-Dharan 33 kV transmission line.
An agreement was signed with Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd, an Indian company on February 25, 2016 to build the first section of the Inaruwa-Basantapur-Baneshwor-Tumlingtar 220 KV transmission line. The estimated cost of the first package is $37.3 million.