Plans Afoot to Export Power from Likhu-4 to Bangladesh

Nepali officials are hopeful that India will give the green signal to export power from the project

the HRM

With India’s assurance of allowing power export from Nepal to Bangladesh, the government is planning to export the electricity generated from the Likhu-4 Hydropower Project to Bangladesh.

According to a senior official at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI), preparations have started to select the project after the Indian government said that it can use its transmission infrastructure to export 50 megawatts of electricity to Bangladesh.

The Indian side was positive on Nepal’s request to export 40-50MW of electricity to Bangladesh by using Indian transmission infrastructure in the recently concluded 10th joint secretary-level Joint Working Group and the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee meeting held in Jaipur, India on February 17-18. During the meeting, India agreed to grant its approval once Nepal submits the proposal along with the project whose power will be sold to Bangladesh.

According to MoEWRI officials, Indian officials have promised to give approval according to the Indian government’s Electricity Import-Export Directive if a proposal for exporting electricity to Bangladesh is submitted for a specific power project. During the meeting, the Nepali side proposed the electricity from the Likhu-4 project could be exported to Bangladesh. According to MoEWRI Spokesperson Madhu Bhetuwal, Indian assurance is very important symbolically.

According to Nepali officials, as the Likhu-4 project is a joint venture of Nepal’s Triveni Group and India’s Bhilwara Energy and an Indian contractor was involved in the construction, the southern neighbor will give the green signal to export power from the project. Located on the border of Okhaldhunga and Ramechhap, the project started its commercial production of electricity last year.

Nepal and Bangladesh in August last year had decided to request the southern neighbor to allow the export of 40-50MW of electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh in the initial phase by utilizing the high-voltage Baharampur-Bheramara cross-border power transmission link. In order to supply electricity to Bangladesh through the Indian territory, India’s export-import directive on power should be followed.

Nepal-India Energy Secretary Meeting

Deal on power trade and transmission lines 

In a bid to increase bilateral power trade, Nepal and India have agreed to scale up electricity trade and develop more cross-border transmission lines while upgrading the existing ones.

During the 10th joint secretary-level Joint Working Group and the secretary-level Joint Steering Committee held in Jaipur, India on February 17-18, India has also agreed to review the existing mechanism of allowing Nepal to export its electricity to India under a one-year approval process.

According to Nepal Electricity Authority, India agreed to review the existing mechanism while also approving more hydropower projects of Nepal to sell power in the Indian market after completing the necessary process.

Currently, the southern neighbor has allowed Nepal to sell 452.6 MW of electricity generated by 10 hydropower projects in the Indian power market. But the approvals given to the 10 hydropower projects need to be renewed every year.

As the provision of annual renewal has invited administrative hassles and caused hindrances in ensuring seamless trade of power, Nepal had requested a longer power purchase agreement (PPA) with India. According to Nepali officials, the long-term approval will help ensure the market for Nepal’s power in the Indian market.

The southern neighbor has also notified Nepal that it could allow Nepal to participate in the real-time market as well which will allow Nepal to trade electricity in real time which will help minimize power spillage.

India has also been positive to Nepal’s proposal of exporting power to India under a long-term Inter-Government Agreement.

The other major breakthrough during the meeting was the agreement on increasing the volume of power to be transmitted through the 400kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line project to 800 MW from the current 600 MW as proposed by Nepal.

The two countries have also agreed to make a mechanism to enable Nepal to export power through 132kv and lower capacity cross-border transmission lines too. There are 11 such cross-border power lines.

The two countries also agreed to develop two more 400kV cross-border transmission lines–Inaruwa (Duhabi- Purnia (Bihar) and New Lamki (Dodhara)-Bareli. According to the press statement of the ministry, the first one will be completed by 2027-28 and the next one will be completed by 2028-29. Likewise, the two sides also agreed that the 400kv Butwal-Gorkhapur Cross-border Transmission Line would be completed by March 2025. For this, the two countries agreed to sign an implementation and transmission service agreement soon. A Nepal-India joint venture company established in India has already invited tender for hiring the contractor.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top