Kathmandu; Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun has reiterated that energy exchange is crucial to drive regional development.
“Energy development is imperative to economic progress and its importance has been growing.” said Minister Pun addressing the participants of the two-day Power Summit which kicked-off in Kathmandu on Thursday. “It is the right time to invest in hydropower and the government is committed to protect the investment.”
According to Pun, electricity generation in the country will surpass domestic power demand and the country is searching for markets in India and Bangladesh to avert wastage of clean energy and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
The two-day power summit will witness significant discussions on regional trade of electricity with Nepali officials reiterating that the summit would be a milestone on shaping electricity trade between Nepal, India and Bangladesh.
According to Shailendra Guragain, President of the Independent Power Producers’ Association of Nepal (IPPAN), the summit will help to find new market for electricity generated by Nepal.
“Without trade of electricity, rapid development cannot be imagined,” said Guragain. “We must consume the domestically available electricity and also sell it in the regional markets.”
Likewise, IPPAN Vice-President Kumar Pandey underscored the need for a trilateral arrangement for electricity development and market expansion.
“The private sector is also trying to seek new markets for electricity and it needs support from the government,” said Pandey. “The electricity can only be sold at the regional markets with joint effort from the government and private sector.”
Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri also called for joint initiative from Nepal and India citing that electricity exchange was imperative for regional development.
Speaking at the summit, Bangladesh’s State Minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and Bhutan’s Minister for Economic Affairs Loknath Sharma also highlighted the possibilities of electricity exchange between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.
The summit has witnessed participation of ministers from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and 700 national and foreign investors.
Around 10 agreements on project development and energy trade have been forged during the two day summit which concludes on Friday. The Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company and NHPC India, indian energy Exchange and IPPAN have entered into agreements.
Also, Nepal-India and Bangladesh are expected to sign 10 agreements on trilateral electricity trade and project construction in presence of officials from Indian institutions including Central Electricity Authority, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission, PTC India, Satluj jal Vidyut Nigam and GMR.
Earlier, Nepal, Bangladesh and India have entered into agreements to trade around 25000 megawatt of electricity from Nepal over the course of two decades.
To satisfy its power demand, Bangladesh has floated plans to import around 9,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity from Nepal within 2040 and India has plans to import 15600 megawatt of electricity by 2034.
Nepal and India have agreed to invest in a second high capacity cross-border power line, the 400 kV New Butwal-Gorakhpur Transmission Line and are exchanging power through the existing Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur Transmission Line, at present.
The Power Summit has seen participation from investors and representatives from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, The Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Canada, among others.
A round table discussion between officials of regulatory agencies of Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Norway has also been planned during the summit. The discussion is expected to be fruitful for the newly formed Electricity Regulatory Commission of Nepal.