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NEA to decide on best route in 3 weeks

Atechnical team of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) will soon choose the bestviable and feasible route of cross-border transmission line to connect withTibet’s Kerung, according to a bilateral agreement signed between Nepal andChina in Kathmandu on Thursday. 

Thedecision on the route allows the governments to move ahead on buildingcross-border transmission line. Nepal has hoped to exchange 2,000 MWelectricity through the line by 2020. 

Apreliminary study of the transmission line in Nepal’s land, carried out by theNEA, had identified three alternatives. 

Theteam will select the most viable route and recommend China to take the finaldecision, according to a bilateral talk between Ministry of Foreign Affairs ofNepal and Chinese Delegation in Kathmandu on Thursday. NEA’s officials said itsfour technicians will embark on site visit to decide on the route. 

Talkingto Republica, project chief of the Galchhi Kerung Transmission Line Project,Komal Nath Atreya said that the team will find out the best option within threeweeks’ time. The government of Nepal will send proposal to Chinese officialsthereafter. 

TheNEA will conduct the study in the Nepali side while China’s Tibet-basedElectric Company has carried out the feasibility study in the Chinese sideincluding its international transmission line from Lhasa to Kerung.

 “Preparationof final reports from both the countries will pave the way for entering intosecretarial-, ministerial- and prime ministerial-level talks to proceed onproject development,” said Atreya. 

Anagreement has already been signed between the two countries to buildcross-border transmission lines as part of Belt and Road Initiative.    

Thebuilding of cross-border transmission lines was discussed during erstwhilePrime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s china visit in March 2016, when Nepal had justrecovered from an unofficial blockade by India. Oli and China’s President XiJinping had then signed bilateral agreement for building first cross-bordertransmission line. 

Thisinfrastructure opens Nepal to a third country for electricity transmissionafter India, with which there are at least three cross-border lines includingDhalkebar and Mujaffarpur are in operation currently. And one more cross-bordertransmission line Butwal-Gorakhpur is also in the pipeline.

“Nepalcan export excess energy during rainy season to China, and while it can importduring the dry season from China,” said an NEA official who is an expert ontransmission line.  The Government of Nepal has allocated Rs 30 millionfor the study in current fiscal year.

Thereis also a proposal to build the transmission line along the Kathmandu-Kerungrailway, which is feasible according to a recent pre-feasibility study.

Source:MyRepublica 25th February 2018

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