At a time when the water level in Nepal’s river shrinks and global energy prives has increased two hundred folds, it caused the temporary disruption of electricity supply. As the countries around the world have been facing the energy crisis following the Russian and Ukraine war, Nepal is to face the heat.
Prices of energy have increased many folds in the last week and Nepal Oil Corporation has increased the price tariff our times increasing the prices of petroleum products over Rs. 15.
With the prices increasing globally, the prices of electricity in the Indian exchange market have also gone up higher. However, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has decided to import the electricity from India to avoid load shedding.
Managing Director of NEA Kul Man Ghising has announced that they are preparing to import 7,000 MW hour electricity from India by paying IRs. 20 per unit from today midnight. Per unit cost of power will be Rs. 38 while purchasing at IRs. 20 from India.
Had not MD Ghising taken a decision promptly to import the electricity, Nepal would have gone through a severe crisis. Although NEA’s decision has avoided the major power crisis, it is not a permanent solution.
Given Nepal’s nature of hydropower plants including IPPs, which are based on run-off the river, Nepal’s power surplus will last only for five months. Nepal’s power generation capacity drastically declines once the dry season begins.
However, MD Ghising was criticized by a group of people for the problem caused by the global energy crisis blaming him for possible power cuts in the coming days. He said that there would be no load shedding in any industry from Thursday midnight citing that it has already arranged for the import of required electricity from the Indian Energy Exchange.
"We have bid a tender to procure electricity from India Energy Exchange (IEX) at IRs. 20 per unit with effect from today midnight," he said.
The energy crisis has been seen in the country after NEA failed to import energy due to the sudden rise in energy prices in India beyond the bidding rate proposed by NEA in IEX, he added.
The price of electricity in India has been rising since the price of coal skyrocketed due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
"It is a short-term crisis seen after 15-20 years. There will be no load shedding and we will not allow it to happen. Even now, we have to increase the load," Ghising said at a press conference organized at NEA office Thursday.
The NEA has been importing around 300-350 MW of electricity from India to meet the demand during this dry season, he said, adding that the energy crisis seen in the international market due to the Russia-Ukraine war has shown its effect in India and Nepal.
At present, the demand for electricity in Nepal is 1,650 MW while the 24-hour peaking production is 1,400 MW, according to NEA.
Last year, it had to import 800 MW of electricity daily from India, but this year it has been importing only 350 MW daily. This is 30 percent of the total demand.
No increase in tariff
He assured that the NEA would purchase the required amount of electricity from India even facing losses.
According to him, even if the price increases in India, it will not increase in Nepal. He said that the NEA has not thought of increasing the tariff as it is likely to be a temporary problem only for a month. Ghising said that due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the shortage of coal has hampered power generation across the world and this has affected India as well.
According to him, NEA had earlier purchased electricity from India at different prices from different units. He said that electricity was purchased from India at Rs 1.90 per unit earlier, adding that the average price was Rs. 5 to 6 per unit.
Until a few days ago, Nepal had bought electricity at IRs. 8 per unit due to price hikes in India. Currently, NEA is selling electricity to consumers at Rs. 9 per unit.