Energy Secretaries of Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Bhutan held a virtual meeting and discussed the issues regarding the problems related to energy generation, demand and distribution in the context of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to a press release issued by Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, they evaluated the state of energy and problem aftermath of COVID-19 of each country.
Secretary of Energy Dinesh Kumar Ghimire said that they discussed the negative effect of COVID-19 in the energy sector and its impact in demand and supply balance, work in under construction projects. He said that the secretaries also discussed the way to find the solution.
During the virtual meeting, secretary Ghimire requested his Indian counterpart Nandan Sahaya to forward process to establish a joint company for the construction of Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 kV Transmission Project. Secretary Ghimire proposed his Indian counterpart to sign Share Holder Agreement soon.
He also requested Indian secretary Sahaya to make necessary arraignment to allow hydropower equipments imported by private sectors which are stalled in various parts of India due to obstruction created by lockdown.
He informed his counterpart about the cabinet decision to continue carryout the development project even during the lockdown. In reply, Energy Secretary of India Sahaya said that they are positive on the issue and expressed commitment to take initiative.
Secretary Ghimire also proposed tripartite mechanism meeting of Nepal, India and Bangladesh electricity trade. He thanked India for agreeing Nepal’s proposal to reduce export of energy to Nepal.
Following the lockdown, the demand of electricity has drastically reduced due to closure of industries. Thus, Nepal has decided to import of electricity from India. In the normal circumstance, Nepal used to import 400-500 MW of electricity. Now days, Nepal is importing just 200 MW.
Secretary Ghimire said that in virtual meeting secretaries of India, Bhutan and Bangladesh too have expressed similar situation. He said that demands of electricity have reduced in all the countries due to shut down of industries and halted the projects under construction.