KATHMANDU : The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has extended the validity period of the bids called for the purpose of importing electricity by one month.
The NEA, the sole power distributor, has sent a letter to the four bidders who have offered their bids for the import of electricity up to 300 to 550 MW from India between December to May.
By November 14, NEA was initially to decide on the proposals from the aspiring companies. Based on this, by December 14, the NEA will analyze it and decide whether to give approval for this agreement or not.
Suresh Bhattrai, spokesperson of NEA, however, said that he was not privy to the issue and informed that discussions are going on for importing electricity from the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) at a cheaper rate. Around last October, the NEA called for proposals for import of electricity at Rs 11 to Rs 16 per unit.
Bhattrai also said that the National Vidyut Vikash Nigam (NVVN) will charge INR 7.18 (Rs 11.48) per unit for electricity to be imported through Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line for next December to February.
And the Power Trading Company (PTC) -India has proposed to bring electricity from Tanakpur at INR 8.08 (Rs 12.92). Similarly, private companies like Manikaran Power and Shree Cement have offered more than INR 10 (Rs 16) per unit.
The NEA is internally discussing buying electricity from the Indian open market because it will be cheaper than calling for tenders. But at the end of last winter, while importing electricity from the open market, it had reached INR 20 per unit.
“It would be useful if the power authority could go to the short-term and long-term markets rather than the IEX market, where rates change every 15 minutes. Going to the IEX market not only increases the rate but also decreases the availability of electricity as well, but going to the market is worth it,” said Ashish Garg, Vice President of the Independent Power Producers Association of Nepal (IPPAN).
As the NEA could not make a clear decision, the bidder’s validity period has been extended. If the NEA does not evaluate and approve it within the extended period then the process will be cancelled automatically.
According to the officials of the NEA, the bid period has been added to analyse whether buying from the IEX market will be cheaper or buying from the company that is currently offering.
If buying from the IEX market is cheaper, then there is a possibility that NEA will go for it. In the past, the NEA has called for bids for export, which eventually was cancelled.