Ramesh Lamsal RSS
New Delhi - The foundation stone of the 'New Butwal-Gorakhpur Cross border Transmission Line', which is considered important for electricity trade between Nepal and India, has been laid.
The foundation stone of the project was laid at a special ceremony held here today during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India. Prime Minister Prachanda and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly laid the foundation stone of the project in a special ceremony held at the Indian Prime Minister's Office, Hyderabad House.
The transmission line is also the second international transmission line of high capacity. A separate company has also been established for the construction of the project. Nepal Electricity Authority and Electricity Authority of India have equal investment in the company.
Not only has the government of Nepal already given approval to the Electricity Authority for foreign investment in that company, a joint company has also been established.
New Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 KV second international transmission line proposed by the authority for electricity trade between Nepal and India has now been paved.
Earlier, the Government of India had already given permission for foreign investment in Butwal Gorakhpur Cross Border Transmission Company to be established in India to build the section towards India under the transmission line project
New Butwal-Gorakhpur 400 KV transmission line under the line to India has been established as a joint company with 50/50 percent share ownership (equity) of Electricity Authority and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. owned by the Government of India. The transmission line to Nepal will be done by the authority itself.
The length of 400 KV double circuit transmission line starting from Sunwal Municipality-13 position New Butwal Substation in Nawalparasi and reaching Gorakhpur Substation in India is about 120 km. Out of it, about 20 km is towards Nepal and the rest is towards India.
The authority had received approval for foreign investment in a joint venture to be established in India amounting to 460 million Indian rupees (Rs 736 million), which would be 50 percent of the company's equity. The power grid will also have the same investment as the authority in the company.
Kulman Ghising, executive director of the authority, expressed his belief that the construction of the project will speed up with the laying of the foundation stone. The seventh meeting of the mechanism of Nepal-India Energy Secretary and Joint Secretaries on 27-28 October 2076 finalized the investment form of transmission line construction. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 4.62 billion (Rs 7 billion 39 crore) and the financial management of the project will be 80 percent debt and 20 percent equity.
According to Executive Director Ghisingh, the necessary process for the construction of the transmission line has gone ahead. The construction process has progressed with the goal of constructing the transmission line within three years. A joint investment and investor agreement was signed between the Authority and Power Grid in August 2078 for the establishment of the company.
The meeting of the Cabinet of Nepal Government on 19 July 2078 gave approval to the authority to invest 50 percent shares in the company to be established for the construction of the section of the Butwal-Gorakhpur international transmission line towards India. The transmission line of the Nepal section will be built by Nepal itself and a company to be established with a 50/50 percent share ownership of India's authority and Power Grid.
A transmission line with a capacity of 2000 megawatts of electricity is going to be constructed. The Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line can transmit electricity at almost twice the capacity of the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur first inland 400 kV transmission line which is currently in operation. A 400 KV transmission line will be connected to the same transmission line going through Nanglebhare in Kathmandu. The transmission line is being built by the American aid project MCC.
New Butwal Gorakhpur International Transmission Line is going to be constructed with the idea of creating easy infrastructure for electricity trade. Electricity cannot be traded on the basis of weak infrastructure. The construction of the transmission line has been advanced with the aim that Nepal's electricity can be sold in India only with the availability of effective and reliable infrastructure.
Similarly, even though Nepal is connected to India through other transmission lines, there is a lack of high capacity transmission lines. The government believes that after the construction of the transmission line, a new highway will be prepared for electricity trade.