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Nepal, India ink agreement on electricity trade

B360
B360 January 4, 2024, 2:39 pm
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KATHMANDU: Nepal and India signed a long-term agreement on electricity trade today.  Secretaries of both countries signed the document in the presence of Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet.

With the signing of the agreement, the bilateral understanding to export 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Nepal to India in the next 10 years has been materialised. Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Gopal Sigdel and India's Energy Secretary Pankaj Agrawal signed the agreement paper on behalf of their respective sides.

The bilateral understanding on electricity export was reached during Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India from 31 May to 3 June 2023. During the visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India's commitment to purchase electricity from Nepal in the long term, and both countries reached a consensus on this matter.

The Federal Council of Ministers of India has already endorsed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard. The agreement was signed during the two-day visit of India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, which commenced today.

Following 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. The private sector in Nepal can also participate in the import and export of electricity after completing the necessary procedures.

In a press conference organised in the course of Prime Minister Dahal's visit to India, prime ministers of both countries had commented that the issue of power export was historic and significant. The government has already prepared energy development strategy intending to produce 28,000MW of electricity in next 12 years.

Of 28,000MW of power, a target has been set to export 15,000MW electricity to different countries including India.

The private sector welcomed the agreement, citing that the agreement will open doors for the development of Nepal's energy sector. The government has set a target to bring quality change to the development of energy sector taking the private sector together.

Earlier, a delegation led by Indian Energy Secretary Agrawal paid a courtesy call on Energy Minister Basnet.

Expressing happiness over the beginning of meaningful cooperation in energy sector between the two countries, Energy Minister Basnet pointed out the need to take it to a further conclusion.

He shared that the agreement regarding exporting 10,000MW of electricity in next 10 years will take the relations between the two countries to a new height.

Minister Basnet urged to accelerate other projects and complete them on slated time, expecting Indian investment in large projects.

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