Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal has mentioned that the challenge in stopping electricity leakage is an important issue. To minimise power leakage, there is a need to implement the international standards related to electricity and carry out reforms in the power distribution structure, said the minister at the event organised to celebrate 37th anniversary of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Wednesday in Kathmandu.
She mentioned that the country got around Rs 2 billion income from the control of power leakage alone in the previous fiscal year, 2021-22. She was of the view that it would be difficult to take economic strides until there is additional development in the energy sector.
To increase power consumption domestically, electricity use in electric cooktops, electric vehicles and industries should be increased, Minister Bhushal stressed.
The minister, who is chairperson of the NEA board of directors, also urged NEA’s employees to engage in delivering quality service to general people with more efficiency.
She further said that the profits earned by NEA will be invested in the construction of infrastructures related to electricity supply. On the occasion, Minister Bhusal turned down the demand of NEA employees to provide them bonus out of the profits NEA made in the last fiscal year when it earned Rs 16.16 billion as profit.Notably the amount was more than double of the profit the public utility earned in the fiscal year 2020-21.
The notable rise in the profit has been attributed to an increase in electricity production and consumption, rise in electricity export to India, reduction in electricity leakage and effective control of operating expenses.
On the occasion, managing director of NEA Kulman Ghising informed that NEA earned more than Rs 2 billion in a year by reducing the electricity leakage. The parent generator and distributor of electric power under the Government of Nepal got over Rs 16.1 billion in incomes in the previous FY, highest in its history of 35 years.
According to him, NEA’s subsidiary Nepal Power Trading will be starting electricity trade in domestic and international markets from the current fiscal year.
Ghising informed that so far around 95 per cent population of the country have access to electricity. The NEA was at work day and night to fulfil the government’s goal of covering 100 per cent population of the country by electricity in next two years, he said, adding that at present, 42 districts have got full power access.
Moreover, NEA has been with the plan to achieve 100 percent access to electricity within the next two years, which is well ahead of the target year of 2030 set by the Sustainable Development Goal 7. The Goal 7 is one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. It is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
At the current situation, the number of electricity consumers of the power utility has reached 4.77 million, excluding 0.55 million who are served by rural community electrification.
In the last fiscal year, 735 MW of electricity, including from solar plants, was added to the national grid. With the addition, the installed capacity of electricity increased to 2,189.6MW in 2021-22, which consists of 2,075.4MW of hydroelectricity, 54.8MW of solar power, 6.0MW of cogeneration and 53.4MW generated from thermal plants.
The power utility has constructed 455 circuit kilometres of transmission lines of 66 kV and above in the last fiscal year. With this addition, Nepal now has 5,329 circuit kilometres of transmission lines.