India-Nepal agrees to setup Joint Task Force for Hydropower projects

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India-Nepal agrees to setup Joint Task Force for Hydropower projects

  • India and Nepal agreed to form a joint task force on a proposal to construct a hydropower project from investments of both the countries.
  • The task force will have a maximum of three members from both the countries.
  • The agreement was reached at the 9th meeting of the Nepal-India Energy Secretary-Level Joint Steering Committee in Kathmandu

9th meeting of the Nepal-India Energy Secretary-Level Joint Steering Committee

  • The issues including existing transmission lines between the two countries, under-construction and proposed interstate transmission line, the Arun III hydropower and transmission line and interstate power trade were discussed during meeting
  • Both sides agreed to increase the capacity of energy being imported and exported through the interstate 400 KV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line.
  • The 400 KV transmission line will span 140 kilometres (20 kilometres in Nepali territory and the remaining 120 in Indian territory).

Arun III Hydro Electric Project

  • It is a 900 MW run-of-river project, located on Arun River in Eastern Nepal.
  • The memorandum of understanding for the project(MoU) between government of Nepal and Sutlej Jal Vikas Nigam (SJVN) Limited was signed in 2008
  • Its aim is to execute the project on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years, which also include five years of construction period.

Energy cooperation between India and Nepal

  • Many rivers flow from Nepal to India which constitute an important part of Ganges river basins.
  • Rivers are major sources of irrigation and power for Nepal and India.
  • Gandak River treaty: signed between India and Nepal in 1959.
  • It has 13 articles
  • Both sides can utilise water from Gandak river to generate 20000 MW of electricity.
  • Mahakali treaty: In 1996, India agreed to undertake creation of 3 dams at Sarda, Tanakpur and Pancheshwar.
  • Both sides agreed to share cost of projects
  • Power Exchange Agreement: Since 1971, For meeting power requirements in border areas, both are taking advantage of each other's transmission infrastructure.
  • Border transmission lines:
  • First high-capacity 400 kV Muzaffarpur (India) - Dhalkebar (Nepal) cross-border power transmission line, with GoI LoC funding of US$ 13.2 million for the Nepal portion of the line, was completed in 2016.
  • Two additional 132 kV cross-border transmission lines b/w Kataiya (India) - Kusaha (Nepal) and Raxaul (India) - Parwanipur (Nepal), built with GoI grant assistance, were completed in 2017.
  • India is currently supplying a total of about 600 MW of power to Nepal.
  • Cross border petroleum lines: Constructed and funded by IOCL
  • These connect Motihari in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal
  • Agreement on ‘Electric Power Trade, Cross-border Transmission Interconnection and Grid Connectivity: signed on 21 October 2014.
  • Aim: to facilitate and further strengthen cross-border electricity transmission, grid connectivity and power trade b/w Nepal and India.
  • It provides a framework for power trade b/w 2 countries, import by Nepal from India until it becomes power surplus and subsequent import by Indian entities from Nepal, on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.