Kathmandu, Nov. 27: The government is to install solar power plant for supplying electricity at the Gautam Budhha International Airport (GBIA).
Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun and Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai held discussions on installing 10 megawatts capacity solar power plant at the GBIA which is in the final stages of construction.
During the discussions held at the Ministry of Energy, the two ministers exchanged views on this topic with the goal of promoting the use of clean energy. Tourism Secretary Yadav Prasad Koirala, Officiating Secretary at the Energy Ministry Praveen Aryal, Joint Secretary Madhu Prasad Bhetwal, Acting Director General at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Hitendra Dev Shakya and officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) were also present on the occasion.
The meeting directed the ministries and NEA to prepare within a week a detailed outline on the installation of solar plant and submit it to the ministers. There is a plan of setting up the solar plant through the private sector and with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the open ground close to the Bhairahawa Airport.
It is said out of about Rs 18 billion that ADB is providing Nepal for installing solar power plants, the process has been already forwarded before this in connection with producing five megawatts power in Jhapa, seven megawatts power in Butwal, four megawatts power in Pokhara and eight megawatts power in Chanauta.
The NEA has signed power purchase agreement for the solar plants to be constructed in Butwal and Pokhara.
Energy Minister Pun said the amount provided by ADB for all these plants would not be entirely spent and there was plan to install 10 megawatts capacity solar plant at GBIA from the extra amount.
CAAN will provide the space required for construction of the plant to NEA on lease for 25 years. NEA has proposed that it will give the responsibility of installing the solar power plant to the private sector and it will purchase the power generated from it and supply it to the GBIA.
Addressing the meeting, Energy Minister Pun said although the country is at the stage of self-reliance in hydropower sector, solar plant is also necessary for promoting alternative energy balance.
Tourism Minister Bhattarai said it would be the best initiative and also send a positive message at the international level if the airport could be operated with solar power. He added that the GBIA was in final stages of completion and it would be a model one after the installation of the solar plant. However, some technical works have not moved forward as Chinese workers are unable to come here due to COVID-19 pandemic.