Founder of Apple Steve Jobs said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice and, most important, have a courage to follow your heart and intuition. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
When the government appointed Ghising a year ago for his second tenure as MD of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), NEA was in a bad shape financially and technically as people were fed up with unannounced load shedding
Assuming the office for his second tenure, MD Ghising expressed his inner commitments and determination to bring Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) back on the track. In a hostile environment created by biased opinions of his critics, MD Ghising marched for a success.
Like Steve said, MD Ghising has changed the situation in one year increasing the profit of NEA by 164 percent and reducing the electricity leakage drastically.
Nepal Electricity Authority has increased its total profit of Rs.16 billion and electricity leakage has declined to 15.38 percent.
Although MD Ghising does not have a magic stick, what he has is management capacity which he proved in his first four-year tenure ending decades of load shedding and making bankrupt NEA a profit-making public entity.
As Nepal Electricity Authority is celebrating its anniversary on August 17, NEA’s recently released financial statement showed a miracle in profit.
During the year 2077/78 fiscal year, NEA made a net profit of Rs.6.1 billion rupees. However, the profit of this fiscal year 2078/79 is Rs. 16.09 billion.
According to MD Kul Man Ghising, NEA’s annual transaction in 2078/79 reached over Rs.100 billion. Following this, NEA is now the highest earning and profit-making public entity in Nepal. The consumption of electricity has increased by 27 percent, export increased, and 16 percent electricity generation increased from NEA’s powerhouses and with declining leakage helping to swell annual income,” said MD Ghising.
NEA had a net loss of Rs.8.89 billion in the fiscal year 2072/73. Since that NEA has been making a profit each year. In the fiscal year 073/74, NEA made a net profit of Rs1.50 billion. In the last year of the first four-year tenure in 076/077, NEA’s profit was Rs. 11.75 billion. However, NEA’s profit declined to Rs.6.1 billion in 2077/078.
Ghising said that the quality and dependable supply of electricity has now direct impacts on NEA’s financial position. NEA has also offered about Rs. 980 million discounts to the consumers who paid the tariff in time. NEA has made Rs.87 billion net income from selling electricity. This amount is 22 percent higher than the previous year.
MD Ghising also said that electricity leakage has also gone down to 15.38 percent from 17.18 percent in the previous year. When MD Ghising took the charge as an MD in 2072/73, the leakage was 25.78 percent. When he left completing four years in 2076/77 it declined to 15.25 percent.
In his one-year absence in 2077/78, leakage had increased to 17.18 percent. After taking several effective steps, NEA is able to reduce 1.80 percentage points in leakage fixing it to 15.38. MD Ghising said that NEA has made about Rs. 2 billion from controlling the leakage. He said that NEA will launch more effective steps to reduce electricity theft and improve the quality of supply by installing transforms and distribution lines in the coming years. This will further reduce the leakage.
Export and Import Status
During the fiscal year 2078/79, the export of electricity to India has increased. NEA has been exporting electricity from 364 MW to 400 MW daily.
During 2077/078, Nepal exported merely 44 million units or (44 Gwh) of electricity. In 2078/79, NEA exported 493 million (493 Gwh) of electricity to India. NEA has already earned Rs.3.88 billion from export.
Despite increasing the domestic consumption of electricity by 21.28, NEA was able to reduce the import. NEA has imported 2806 Gwh of electricity worth Rs.21.50 billion in the fiscal year 2077/78 to meet the domestic demand. This fiscal year, Nepal imported 1543 Gwh worth Rs.11.54 billion.
Since 2015, this is the first time Nepal imported electricity around Rs.11 billion. Nepal imported electricity worth of Rs.14.02 billion in 2016, Rs.16.6 billion in 2017, Rs.19.83 in 2018, Rs.22.54 billion in 2019, Rs.12.44 billion in 2020 and Rs.21.50 billion in 2021.
Similarly, Nepal exported electricity worth up to Rs.33 million from 2013 to 2017. Nepal exported electricity worth of Rs.413 million in 2019, Rs.983 million in 2020 and Rs.316 million in 2021 and Rs.3.88 billion in 2022.
MD Ghising said that Nepal’s net import of electricity will come to an end from the coming fiscal year and will become a net exporter. Peak demand for electricity was 1747 in the 2078/79 fiscal year and electricity consumers reached 5.3 million.
With support from all his staff and backing from Minister Pampha Bhusal and other officials from the Ministry, MD Ghising has taken several reforms and effective programs to make the highest profit in the first year of his second tenure.
As he promised on his first day of the second tenure, MD Ghising has proved in a span of 12 months that he means business and tells the truth. Despite criticism by his critics terming his announcement as populist, MD Ghising has shown what he means.
Completing Transmission Lines
In his one year tenure, he has already completed numbers of stalled transmission line projects. Completion of 220 kV Marsyangdi corridor is one of the major one. Similarly, the connection of Bharatpur-Bardghat new 220 kV transmission line after vacating by court is a major success. The Supreme Court’s decision to vacate the interim order on Hetauda-Inarua 400 kV double circuit transmission line paved NEA to complete the strategically important transmission line project which has been facing a number of problems.
Recently completed 220 kV transmission line and substation in Kosi corridor is a major milestone. Constructed with funding from Indian Exim Bank, this project will be game changer for province 1.
MD Ghising said that after the completion of 220 kV transmission line and substation electricity supply in the Province 1 will drastically improve.
He said that the infrastructure has been prepared as a backbone for the electricity produced in the hilly districts of Province-1 to connect and distribute to the national transmission system. Ghising said that after the transmission lines and substations are operational, the availability of resources for power supply in that area will make the system reliable.
He mentioned that after the 220 kV transmission line and substation came into operation, the voltage in that area has improved and the power supply is reliable with quality.
"In the Morang-Sunsari industrial corridor, when the supply was only from Duhabi substation of Sunsari, there was a problem of voltage tripping, now the load of Duhabi substation can be shifted to Inaruwa substation, so more electricity can be provided to the industries and the problems of voltage tripping will be solved," Ghising said.
Similarly, the completion of New Butwal-Lumbini and Marchawar 132 kV Transmission line is another breakthrough. Similarly, the completion of 132 kV Solu-coridor transmission line is also a breakthrough.
Big Loss In His One Year Absence
With an abrupt decision of then Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Ghising discontinued for a year. However, the year under a new management cost billions of rupees of loss to NEA.
As he left NEA in 2020 and Hitendra Dev Shakya took charge as new MD, the process of NEA’s decline started. The audit period between July 2020-July2021 showed how NEA was heading to a financial collapse.
The Auditor General’s Annual Report 2022 showed that NEA suffered from high leakage, low profits and high remnant in the fiscal year of 2020-2021 (2077/078).
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has taken initiative to connect the completed private sector hydropower projects to the national transmission line as soon as possible.
The work of transmission line under construction will be completed immediately to prevent wastage of electricity generated by private sector hydropower projects due to lack of transmission line, said NEA.
After it became public that the projects completed in Lamjung could not be connected due to lack of transmission line, the top management of NEA visited under construction hydropower projects in the Dordi and Ngadi rivers and inspected the transmission line under construction to get information about the construction progress.
A team led by NEA Managing Director Kul Man Ghising inspected the projects recently. The team visited Dordi Corridor 132 kV transmission line being constructed by NEA in Lamjung, 30 MW Ngadi Hydropower, 27 MW Dordikhola of Himalayan Power Partner, 25 MW Upper Dordi 'A' of Liberty Energy and 12 MW Dordi-1 of Dordikhola Hydropower Company.
MD Ghising called for completion of the projects as soon as possible as the situation would not be created to waste electricity due to lack of electricity in the transmission line.
The NEA had completed construction of the 11 km Kirtipur-Udipur 132 kV Double Circuit Transmission Line (Dordi Corridor) and substation in Kirtipur to connect Dordi Khola Hydropower Project to the national grid.
However, four out of 33 towers of the project were washed away by the flood in the Dordi River on 15 June 2021. The floods also caused severe damage to private sector hydropower projects, which are in the final stages of construction.
New Cross Border Transmission Line
Stalled for long, Nepal and India agreed to start the construction of Butwal-Gorakhpur 2nd Transnational Transmission Line. This is another milestone in his second tenure.
The process to construct the proposed 400 kV new Butwal-Gorakhpur second transnational transmission line between Nepal and India has moved forward. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has got approval for foreign investment in the project.
Under the joint venture project between the NEA and the Indian Power Grid Corporation, a company will be established in India to do the construction work in the Indian side.
For it, the NEA has to manage Rs 736 million, which is 50 percent share. But, the NEA itself will bear the cost to construct the project in the Nepali side.
The double circuit transmission line is around 120 kilometers between New Butwal substation at Sunawal Municipality-13 in Nawalparasi district and Gorakhpur substation in India. Of the area covered by the project, around 20 kilometers falls in the Nepali side and the remaining in the Indian side.
NEA MD Ghising said that with the permission to NEA for foreign investment has paved a way for establishing a company in India on joint venture of NEA and Power Grid for the development of a project.
“An article of association and regulation are ready for the company establishment and with the obtainment of a permit for an investment from India, the establishment of the company will be moved ahead,” he said.
It may be noted that the seventh meeting of a mechanism of Nepal-India energy secretaries and joint-secretaries on October 14, 2019 finalized the investment model for the development of the transmission line.
Exchanging agreement with India’s Satlaj Power Company to develop Upper Arun, NEA has already started the construction of bigger project. Similarly, MD Ghising is also working to develop 600 MW Dudhkosi storage project and the negotiations with Asian Development Bank are currently going on.
In his second tenure, NEA is working to start at least four projects with over 1200 MW of power. MD Ghising, a man of action, is now working to fulfill his promises to make NEA a strong institution.
As Steve Jobs said: Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.