A project that will see rural communities in Nepal benefit from hydropower has officially broken ground.

The ground breaking ceremony for the Chilime-Trishuli transmission system in Trishuli was attended by Barshaman Pun, Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation of Nepal, Kul Man Ghising, Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Veronica Cody, European Union Ambassador to Nepal and Roland Schäfer, German Ambassador to Nepal and local government and community representatives.

The new transmission link will enable 600MW of clean energy generated from hydropower plants, including independent power producers, on the Trishuli River corridor to be connected to Nepal’s national electricity grid and upgrade existing electricity distribution to enable a more reliable supply of energy.

The 27km line will be built through difficult mountainous terrain 50km west of Kathmandu by the Nepal Electricity Authority and financed by the European Investment Bank, the European Union through the Asian Investment Facility, German Development Bank KfW and Government of Nepal.

“Once complete the new Chilime-Trishuli Transmission link allows thousands of people living in communities in the Trishuli River Basin and beyond to benefit from clean hydropower energy and a more reliable power supply. This crucial energy project is key for sustainable development in Nepal and demonstrates the close partnership between Nepal and European partners,” said Minister Barshaman Pun.

“Over the coming years investment in clean energy will support sustainable development across Nepal and significantly increase use of renewable energy sources. The Chilime-Trishuli transmission line highlights how technical and financial cooperation between the Nepal Electricity Authority and European partners benefits our country and helps to harness low-carbon power sources,” added Kul Man Ghishing, Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority.

The distribution scheme under the transmission system will enable households in remote rural communities to benefit from first time access to electricity and reduce the need for expensive generators and cooking fuels.