Frustrated by frequent power cuts seen during the Tihar festivals of the past, Kathmandu households had prepared themselves with alternatives to power cuts for the recent Tihar festival.
Thanks to the efforts of Kul Man Ghising, the newly-appointed Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority, Kathhmandu Valley enjoyed loadsheddig free hours during this Tihar. This was possible when Managing Director Ghising visited the load center himself to monitor and maintain the power supply in the Kathmandu Valley.
After successfully making Kathmandu power outage free, the next mission of managing director Ghishing is to declare capital Kathmandu a loadsheddinng-free zone forever.
On the night of Laxmi Puja, the demand of power was around 1444 MW in Nepal and the demand of Kathmandu was around 315 MW. However, the transmission capacity was 916 MW/ NEA fulfilled the supply through importing electricity from India, including running Kulekhani I 60 and Kulekhani II 34. NEA also ran 10 MW diesel plant of Hetauda and imported additional electricity from India as well. “This was possible because of better management in the distribution. We also requested the IPPs to run in full capacity on that day,” said Ghising. "This also encouraged us to try to make Kathamndu Valley free of loadshedding.”
Energy secretary Anup Kumar Upadhyaya in his Facebook status congratulated the NEA’s family for making Kathmandu Valley loadshedding-free during the auspicious festival.
Having established a reputation as an action-oriented manager with vision during his tenure as the head of Chilime Company, managing director Ghising is known as a person with good managerial skills. When he was appointed head of Chilime Company, it had just a 20 MW power generating plant. When he left the company, it started construction of over 300 MW power plants.
Even during his last tenure as the head of Raughat Project, he dismissed the contractors on the charge of being non-performers. As Nepal Electricity is proving a non-performer, with so many projects running behind the schedule, Ghising can be a hope to change the state of affairs as an experienced and dynamic personality.
After taking the position of Managing Director, Ghising has come out with a plan to end load shedding in the capital. Given the strong leadership with motivation and backing from the government, that may not be impossible. Currently, NEA and its subsidiaries are constructing almost 700 MW power projects and IPPs are constructing the same capacity of power plants. NEA is also constructing substation in Dhalkebahar to import at least 400 MW power from India.
Given all the projects, including hydropower, transmission line and substations, are complete in time, no such plan seems impossible. However, almost all NEA and its subsidiary Chilime’s hydropower projects are running out of schedule.
The projects under construction of Chilime Power Company like middle Bhotekosi 102, Upper Sanjen, Sanjen and 111 MW Rasuwagadhi are already delayed for almost two years because of earthquake and the blockade. Similarly, the projects under NEA are also suffering the same fate. Upper Tamakosi 407 has recently rescheduled its deadline as it will be completed by 2019 due to the heavy damage caused by the earthquakes.
Upper Trishuli 3 A 60 MW, Kulekhani III 14 MW and 30 MW Chameliya are already running late. Almost all transmission line projects are one or the other way under disruption. “I have already visited projects and discussed with relevant officials. Given my past experiences of working in NEA, I am quite confident that all the projects will come to be streamlined within a short period,” said Ghising.
Ghising recently visited the construction site of Dhalkebahar substation and directed the contractor to complete the project in time. Similarly, he has been taking stock of all other projects under construction.
“Given MD Ghising's own long experience and his leadership quality and dynamism, Nepal’s current power state can be changed. With a capable technical manpower and capacity, Nepal Electricity Authority can make a difference given strong personality with leadership quality in chair,” said Sachen Gautam, energy reporter of Naya Patrika. “NEA got a person with the capacity to run it properly,” said Gautam, who has been writing in energey sector for eight years.
“By making Tihar load free night, MD Ghising tested the capability of NEA. I think NEA can move on now.”
With the backing of Minister of Energy Janardan Sharma Prabhakar, NEA’s MD Ghising has already started the march to end the current power crisis. “This is a good beginning to revive NEA and Nepal’s energy sector,” said reporter Gautam, who specializes in energy sector coverage.