India renews electricity export permission to Nepal for three months

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Kathmandu: India has renewed electricity export permission to Nepal for three months, as New Delhi’s Himalayan neighbour continues to face power crisis, officials said on Friday.
The renewal came two days before the formal expiration of the existing agreement, which was extended for a year in 2023.

The existing permission was set to expire on the 31st of this month. Officials from both Nepal and India were in discussion to renew the agreement, which took three months to form, officials confirmed.

“The Indian side, after three months of our relentless effort to renew it has finally resulted in extension of the export permission by three months to June 30 this year. Nepal will be importing 500 megawatts of electricity through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line and 54 megawatts via Tanakpur,” Chandan Kumar Ghosh, the spokesperson at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)

With election fever soaring, the Indian side, as immediate measure, extended the export permission by three months, though Nepal had requested for a one-year extension. In addition, the NEA also lodged a request with Indian side to import 650 MW through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line and 54 MW via Tanakpur.

Notably, Nepal relies on India for electricity during the dry season, as it requires around 600 MW electricity from India. Past mid-June, Nepal would start exporting the electricity to India as the reservoirs would fill-up and production would soar.

Despite the extension of export permission by three months, the capacity has been capped at 554 MW for 12 hours. Earlier, Nepal was allowed to import energy as per the need.

According to NEA officials, Nepal will need around 2,000 MW in the next two months, whereas the total domestic production will be only around 1,400 MW as the water levels in the rivers recedes significantly during the dry season.

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