Hydropower alone may fulfill national power demand in two years

Bhrikuti Rai / January 27, 2016

Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi speaking at talk show ‘Sajha Sawal’ aired on Kantipur Television on January 17 said, “We will end load- shedding in two years with hydropower alone”. He added that several under construction projects will be completed and additional 100 MW will be generated after maintenance and repair of existing projects, so the load-shedding will end in two years.

Click here to watch the talk show.

South Asia Check examined to see if the deputy prime minister’s goal is attainable. We looked into several projects that could be commissioned in the next two years:

Project Capacity Current status Information source
Chameliya 30 MW Expected to be completed by March 2016 Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Annual Report 
Kulekhani 3 14 MW Expected to be completed within this fiscal year Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Annual Report
Upper Trishuli 3 A 60 MW Road leading to the project site damaged by the earthquake so work not started. But the project could be completed within one year if the road is rebuilt.


Mukesh Raj Kafle, NEA Managing Director
Upper Tamakoshi 456 MW Work has not resumed since the earthquake. Project completion likely to be pushed to December 2017 Upper Tamakoshi Project Chief  Bigyan Prasad Shrestha
17 projects under Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal 222 MW Of the 17 projects, 8 were affected by earthquake and flood, but these are expected to come into operation in a year Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal


The aforementioned table shows that it is possible to generate 782 megawatts of electricity in the next two years. If the existing 700 megawatts is added then Nepal’s total generation will reach 1,482 megawatts in the next two years.  NEA’s annual report states that the current power demand stands at 1,291 megawatts. Given Nepal’s electricity annual demand increment rate of 7.53 percent, Nepal will require 1493 megawatts in two years. This amount would still fall short by at least 11 megawatts.

And, if the repair and maintenance of the existing projects added just over 11 MW to the national grid although Deputy Prime Minister Rayamjhi hopes 100 MW, then Nepal could be free of load-shedding in two years.

For this to happen the under construction projects should be expedited without delay, or else they might end up being pushed back like Chameliya and Kulekhani 3, which were expected to complete by last fiscal year.

[Note: This report’s earlier headline “Load-shedding may end in two years” has been changed for clarity.]

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