May 16: The process to construct the proposed 400 kV new Butwal-Gorakhpur second transnational transmission line between Nepal and India has moved forward after Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) got approval for foreign investment in the project.
Under the joint venture project between the NEA and the Indian Power Grid Corporation, a company will be established in India for the construction work in the Indian side.
The NEA has to manage Rs 736 million for the construction in the Indian side, which is 50 percent of the total investment. However, the NEA itself will have to bear the cost for the construction of transmission lines under the project towards the Nepal side.
The double circuit transmission line will be around 120 kilometres between New Butwal substation at Sunawal Municipality-13 in Nawalparasi district and Gorakhpur substation in India. Of the area covered by the project, around 20 kilometres falls in the Nepali side and the remaining in the Indian side.
NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghishing said that the permission received by NEA for foreign investment has paved the way for establishing a company in India on joint venture for the development of this project.
“An article of association and regulation are readied for the company establishment and the process of establishing the company will be moved ahead after obtaining a permit for investment from India,” he said.
It may be noted that the seventh meeting of a mechanism of Nepal-India energy secretaries and joint-secretaries on October 14, 2019 had finalized the investment model for the development of the transmission line.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 7.039 billion and the final management will be ensured through 80 percent loan and 20 percent equity.
Preparation for bids is going on for the selection of a project development plan and the NEA intends to complete the project in three years of its commencement.
The NEA and Power Grid in August-September 2021 signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint investment.
The cabinet meeting on August 3 allowed the NEA for an investment of a 50 percent share in the construction of the transmission line segment towards India.
Nepal will construct the part of transmission line towards Nepal on its own while the part towards India will be constructed with the joint venture of NEA and Power Grid.
The transmission will have the capacity of supplying around 2,000 megawatt of electricity. -- RSS