Electricity export drops by 7.2% in June

As of June, the production of the power increased by 0.97% compared to June last year

The export of electricity from five hydropower plants excluding Basochhu hydropower (BHP) decreases by about 7.2% as of June this year as compared to 2021, according to the monthly statistical bulletin of the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA).

The export decreased by about Nu 488mn as compared to Nu 7.2bn in June last year. The decline is attributed to no power generated at the Tala hydropower plant (THP) for the months of January and February.

However, the five hydropower plants including Tala, Chhukha, Kurichhu, Mangdechhhu, and Dagachhu plants have exported about Nu 6.8bn worth of electricity in six months (January-June) this year.

According to the report, Mangdechhu Hydro Power Authority (MHPA) generated the highest power with 86.90MU (Million Units) in January followed by 71.97MU in February. While in terms of energy generation, the THP generated about 3395MU in 2022 and about 3362MU last year, which is an increase of 0.97%.

Similarly, THP generated the highest power till June this year with 574.11MU followed by MHPA with 386.080MU and the least generated power plant was Kurichhu Hydro Power (KHP) with 12.95MU.

A rough calculation shows that the revenue collected from the sale of domestic consumption was about Nu 1.35bn in June this year followed by Nu 1.74bn in 2021, a decrease of almost by 29%.

The decrease in the domestic sale is attributed to nil domestic sales of the power from THP in the month of January and February followed by nil sales of the power from BHP in the month of June this year.

Meanwhile, Bhutan exports about 75.5% of electricity generated in the country to India which is about 117,715.31 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of the total power generation of 155,925.81 GWh, according to Bhutan’s Richness Experiences in Cross Border Electricity Trade, 2022 report.

Further, the export of electricity to India is done through 15 transmission lines including bulk export through ten 400kv (Kilovolt) transmission lines which are managed through several forms of power purchase agreements, according to the report.

The report states that Bhutan is the only south Asian country that exports 80% of electricity generated to India.

The export of electricity, has enhanced not only economic growth but also played a vital role in the socio-economic development of the country and contributed to the GDP of the country, states the findings of the report.

Further, a bilateral agreement was signed between Bhutan and India on March 23, 1974, for the development of the 336 MW Chhukha hydropower project and the development of several mega hydropower projects.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu