First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun, has assured to reduce electricity charge in the coming year too.
Reminding participants about the first ever reduction in electricity charge for NEA’s domestic and industrial customers this year, Pun said that electricity will be supplied at a cheaper rate next year as well.
Speaking in a meeting held today, Pun stated that NEA will be able to provide electricity at a cheaper price as the government now owns 50 percent share of Khimti Hydropower Project and also because the 456-megawatt Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project will start generating electricity by winter.
“The government has 50 percent ownership in Khimti project. Also, the Upper Tamakoshi project, which will generate electricity at around four rupees per megawatt, will start production in winter, so the government can again reduce electricity charge next year,” mentioned Pun.
The minister also spoke about the work being done to achieve the target of generating 15,000 MW of energy in 10 years under the ‘Energy Decade’ program which was introduced after the formation of the current government. Citing that 15,000 MW of electricity can be easily generated through investment of the government and private sector, he said that there will not be any problem of electricity in the market.
Minister Pun said that demand for electricity in recent days has been rising due to the increasing usage of induction cookers, air conditioners and electric vehicles.
He mentioned that demand from the industrial and agricultural sectors is also high at the moment. “However, there will be no problem in the supply side,” he stated. He also informed that 10 percent of the population still does not have access to electricity.
He also informed that necessary preparations are being made to formulate a policy to supply 10,000 MW of electricity in the domestic market and 5,000 MW to the external market.
Talking about the government’s priority towards expanding industrialization, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Lekhraj Bhatta, urged NEA to provide electricity at the least price possible as industries and businesses consume a lot of power.
He said that this would help promote industries in the country. Minister Bhatta also emphasized on the need for coordination between the commerce ministry and energy ministry so as to promote the generation and consumption of electricity in the country and reduce the import of fossil fuels.
Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, secretary at the energy ministry, said that the government is working with special focus on construction of transmission lines and other infrastructure to increase consumption along with power generation.
Talking about India being a potential market for Nepal’s hydropower, he said that Nepal should be able to benefit from its potential. Ghimire mentioned that India wants to import electricity from Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan as electricity is a clean source of energy and India has been facing problems of increased environmental pollution caused by diesel plants.
The meeting also formed a technical committee that has been assigned the responsibility to draft suggestions for the energy sector. The committee has been asked to submit the proposed draft to the main committee by mid-November by including suggestions from independent energy producers and the private sector.
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