March 29, 2017 / 5:24 AM / 4 months ago

India becomes net exporter of power for the first time - government

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Workers install new power lines on an electric pole on the outskirts of Ajmer, India, February 20, 2017.Himanshu Sharma/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has become a net exporter of electricity for the first time, the power ministry said on Wednesday, adding that upcoming cross-border transmission lines with neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar will only increase sales.

April-February power exports of around 5,798 million units were 4 percent higher than what India bought from Bhutan, which has been a steady supplier of hydro-electricity to the country since the eighties.

New transmission lines with Bangladesh and Myanmar helped India sell more, the government said. bit.ly/2o9arWD

Known for its crippling power cuts, India has been investing heavily on generation infrastructure over the past few years. A massive surge in the local supply of raw materials like coal in the past two years has also helped power companies boost output.

Some experts, however, say local power demand has grown slower than expected.

Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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