Budget focuses on mega hydropower projects

Kathmandu, May 30: The government has focused on developing hydropower projects, especially reservoir-based ones for energy security. The government has allocated Rs. 50.74 billion for the development of the energy sector in the next fiscal year.

Finance Minister Barsaman Pun, while presenting the budget for the next fiscal year 2024/25 in the meeting of both Houses of the Federal Parliament on Tuesday, said that 900 megawatts of electricity would be added in the next fiscal year.

The government said that 4,500 megawatts of electricity would be connected to the national system in the coming fiscal year.  It has been mentioned in the budget that the total connected capacity will increase by giving special priority to the energy sector.

Currently, the power consumption capacity per capita is 380 kilowatts, and the government has a goal to increase it to 450 kilowatts in the coming year, said Finance Minister Pun. He announced that Nepal’s electricity would be exported to Bangladesh from the next fiscal year. 

Minister Pun said that to address the demand of the dry season, the government has also given special priority to the construction of reservoir-based projects. 

He said that the construction of the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki hydropower project, which is in the process of construction, would begin at the earliest.

According to him, two frameworks have been proposed to ensure financial resources for the construction of the Budhigandaki Hydropower project.

It is mentioned in the budget that necessary arrangements will be made to build dams and powerhouses separately for the reservoir-based projects.

Pun said that arrangements have been made in the budget to start the construction of 635 MW Dudhkoshi and 417 MW Nalgad hydroelectric projects.

The government has also announced the construction of 77.5 megawatts Ghunsa River hydropower and 70.3 megawatts Simbuwa River hydropower projects to protect the investment of citizens working abroad.

Under the people’s hydropower programme, the government has set a target of starting the construction of Jagdulla hydropower with a capacity of 160 megawatts, Tamakoshi-V with a capacity of 99.9 megawatts and Chainpur Seti with a capacity of 210 megawatts.

After determining the investment framework of the Sunkoshi-III hydropower project, the necessary process for the construction will be started, Minister Pun said.

 Similarly, arrangements have been made in the budget to start the engineering design work along with a detailed study of the 10,800 MW Karnali Chisapani hydropower project.

Minister Pun said that to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions within the year 2045, the government had set a goal to replace traditional energy through the use and promotion of clean and renewable energy.

The budget has made necessary arrangements for connecting a solar energy system with a capacity of 100 megawatts through private sector investment. 

The government has a policy to encourage the production, storage and use of green hydrogen. 

Minister Pun expressed his commitment to complete the construction of Dhalkebar Inaruwa transmission line and the Bahrabise-Khimti-Lapsiphedi transmission line of 400 kV. 

He said that the government has set a target to start the construction of transmission lines of the Seti Corridor, Bheri Corridor and Budhigandaki Corridor.

The budget has a target of completing the construction of the New Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line. Necessary arrangements have also been made for the construction of Inaruwa Purniya, Dododhara Bareilly transmission line.

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