Kathmandu and New Delhi on January 4 inked a long-term agreement on electricity trade, as part of which Nepal will export 10,000 megawatts of electricity to India over the next ten years.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Nepal’s Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet.
Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Gopal Sigdel and India’s Energy Secretary Pankaj Agrawal signed the agreement on behalf of the two countries.
The bilateral understanding on electricity exports was reached during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s visit to India from May 31 to June 3, last year. During the visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India’s commitment to long-term electricity purchase from Nepal and both nations reached a consensus in this regard.
The Council of Ministers in India has already endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached between the two neighbours in this regard. The agreement was signed during the ongoing two-day visit of External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, starting January 4.
Further, by virtue of this agreement, various Government and private entities in India will engage in power trade with Nepal through short-term, medium-term, and long-term contracts. Private sectors in Nepal can also participate in the import and export of electricity after completing the necessary procedures.
In the joint statement issued during the Nepalese PM’s visit to India last year, the premiers of both nations said the power export deal was historic and significant.
Nepal has already devised an energy development strategy with an objective of producing 28,000 MW of electricity in the next 12 years.
Of the 28,000 MW of power, a target has been set to export 15,000 MW of electricity to different countries, including India. Earlier, a delegation led by the Indian Energy secretary paid a courtesy call to Nepalese Energy Minister Basnet.
Expressing happiness over the start of a meaningful cooperation between the two countries in the energy space, Basnet pointed to the need for taking it to a logical conclusion.
He stated that the deal to export 10,000 MW of electricity in the next ten years would take the relations between the two countries to new heights. The Energy minister urged Indian officials to accelerate other projects and complete them within the stipulated time while voicing hope of further investment in large projects across sectors.
(with inputs from ANI)