Most of Nepal’s transmission line projects are under the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). The Ministry of Energy now wants to involve the private sector as well.
This decision comes after the concerns of electricity from hydropower projects not being evacuated after they come online due to recurring construction delays.
Under Joint Secretary Pravin Raj Aryal a committee was formed to work out how to involve the private sector in transmission lines projects under the public-private partnership model. The committee worked along with Investment Board Nepal (IBN) to study and recommend appropriate models.
Aryal said, The government had mentioned in the annual budget statement that a policy would be introduced to attract private investors to develop transmission lines. We are working to realize the government’s plan.
The committee is working on a model in which the private sectors will only construct the transmission line while the operation will be done by NEA or the National Transmission Grid Company.
However, Rajeev Sharma, Deputy Managing Director of the NEA said that giving transmission contracts to private companies will not ensure rapid development of power lines. He said that the main reason behind the delays is lack of policy.
About half a dozen transmission line projects are in a limbo due to lack of proper policy. NEA is unable to secure right-of-way (ROW) from private landowners. ROW allows transmission lines to pass over private land.
Sharma added, “If the government does not come up with an appropriate policy to acquire private land, the completion date of these transmission line projects will be pushed back.”
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