NEA to build power line for Arun-III hydro project
- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu
Jun 21, 2016- Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has agreed in principle to build a 33kV transmission line to supply power for the development of Arun-III Hydropower Project. Although the project’s developer SJVN ARUN-III Hydropower Project was supposed to construct the transmission line, NEA came forward to develop it taking the total cost of the development from SJVN. According to the Project Development Agreement (PDA) signed between Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and SJVN India on November 2014, the latter was supposed to develop the transmission line for electrification of areas surrounding the project as well as for its own consumption during the construction of the project. Currently, NEA and IBN are preparing a draft Memor-andum of Understanding (MoU) on that regard. Once the MoU is signed, NEA will develop around 40km transmission line connecting the project site to the nearest sub-station at Tirtire of Dhankuta. “Initially, the transmission line will be used to supply electricity to the project developer and once the construction is complete the same power line will be used for rural electrification,” said Sher Singh Bhat, deputy managing director at NEA. The project developer has welcomed NEA’s move, saying the construction of the transmission line will make the development of the project easier. “We need around 10-14MW electricity,” said Hari Ram Subedi, residence representative of SJVN. “So the transmission line would be of great use.”The project has pledged to provide 30 units of free electricity monthly to the project-affected people. The project will affect 203 houses in six VDCs of Sankhuwasabha, namely Makalu, Pathibhara, Pawakhola, Yafu, Num and Diding. SJVN will evacuate the power generated by the project through the Dhalkebar substation to Muzaffar-pur,India leaving behind Nepal’s share of the output. According to IBN, Nepal will receive Rs348 billion over 25 years from the project. SJVN will provide 21.9 percent free energy worth Rs155 billion and another Rs107 billion in royalty. More than 3,000 people are expected to get jobs at the project. As per the PDA, the project developer will allot Rs1.6 billion worth of shares to the locals, 50 percent of which will be issued within two years of the commencement of the project. The rest will be provided at a later date at a premium. IBN and SJVN started PDA talks in 2013 after Nepal and India signed a MoU for the project’s construction in 2008.