Three hours power cut in Nepal every day

KATHMANDU, NEPAL - Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is enforcing power cuts of 21 hours every week per household to be conducted from Friday, a local leading media group's website reported recently.

This is almost three times the existing power cuts of eight hours every week per household, the report said.

"Every household in the country will face three hours of power cuts every day beginning Friday," said Sher Singh Bhat, chief of NEA's Systems Operations Department.

This increase comes less than three weeks after NEA tripled the power cut duration from two-and-a-half hours per week per household to eight hours per week per household on January 7.

NEA enforced power cuts this winter season from December 4, 2006.

The country's run-of-river projects that can produce 440 MW in total when run at full capacity are producing only 190 megawatts at the moment due to a sharp decline in water level in the rivers, according to the report.

The current power deficit is 1.3 million units per day, even as the country is importing 80 megawatts of power from India, getting 1.5 million units from the two Kulekhani projects, and running all its thermal and diesel plants.

The Kulekhani projects, which have a combined capacity of 90 MW and are also the only storage type projects in the country, are losing 43 to 48 centimeters of water level per day in their reservoirs due to the pressure to augment power supply. The increase in power cuts is expected to bring this depletion rate down to 24 centimeters. Power from the Kulekhani projects will be essential in February when run-of-river projects will be operating at very low capacity.


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