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GE to Upgrade Gas-Insulated Substations in Nepal

April 23, 2021
The three upgraded substations to deliver hydropower to power-scarce regions that are not connected with the national grid.

GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to upgrade three gas-insulated substations (GIS) at Khimti, Barhabise and Lapsiphedi in Nepal. These modern substations will deliver uninterrupted hydro energy to hundreds of thousands of households in the power-scarce regions outside Nepal’s capital Kathmandu that still do not have access to the national grid.

The contract, awarded by Nepal Electricity Authority, is the state-owned parent generator and distributor of power in Nepal that operates and maintains the country’s installed power capacity of around 1,332 MW.

Nepal, a landlocked, mountainous country, with a population of around 28 million, has long recognized that the development of its large hydropower potential is an important cornerstone for poverty reduction and economic growth. The three GIS substations that GE will upgrade from 220 kV to 400 kV are a critical part of Nepal‘s South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Power Transmission and Distribution Project. This project will also enable Nepal to trade excess power with neighboring countries. The project is being spearheaded by the NEA with funding from the Asian Development Bank and Nepal’s government.

“The project is a crucial step toward meeting our vision of providing sustainable, reliable and affordable power to all in Nepal. Extending the access of electricity to all Nepali households and potential commercial establishments is our fundamental objective and we are happy to partner with GE on this mission,” said Hitendra Dev Shakya, Managing Director, Nepal Electricity Authority.

Following years of chronic power shortages during Nepal's dry winter months, Nepal Electricity Authority has significantly improved the country’s power generation capacity in recent years. However, the transmission system continues to need strengthening to ensure the smooth and uninterrupted supply of power from generating locations to the load centers.  In 2016, Nepal’s government initiated plans to install an additional 10,000 MW of generation capacity over the next 10 years and export the excess electricity to neighboring countries. These plans demanded the immediate upgrade and expansion of the country’s transmission systems.

Pitamber Shivnani, President & CEO, GE’s Grid Solutions, South Asia, said: “We are proud to partner with Nepal Electricity Authority to upgrade Nepal’s transmission infrastructure. More than 90% of power utilities around the world have been equipped with GE’s grid technology. Our substations use the most advanced grid technology whose benefits include smarter transmission, greater load control and real time monitoring. These substations will help to ensure a consistent and reliable supply of electricity for the people in Nepal.”

GE’s GIS technology is an advanced substation technology and requires up to 70% less land for installation compared with Air Insulated Substations (AIS). The upgrade in Nepal will include full substation automation along with relay panels and high-quality substation equipment that will be manufactured and supplied at GE’s Grid Solutions’ state-of-the-art factories in India.

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