Investment Board Approves Rs. 36.37 Billion Investment for Four Hydropower Projects

August 27, 2023 | Investopaper

The Investment Board has granted approval for an investment totaling Rs. 36.37 billion in four hydropower projects. The board’s decision, made during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda,’ who also serves as the chairman of the investment board, marks a pivotal step forward in Nepal’s renewable energy endeavors. The meeting took place on Friday and saw the green light for investments in the following hydropower projects:

— 22 MW Rolwaling Khola Hydropower Project,

— 63 MW Chujung Khola Hydropower Project,

— 39.95 MW Dana Khola Hydropower Project, and

— 44.52 MW Saniveri Hydropower Project.

In the course of the meeting, Sushil Bhatta, CEO of the Investment Board, offered a comprehensive overview of the board’s activities and the status of implementation following the 54th board meeting. High-ranking officials including Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Industry, Commerce, and Supply Minister Ramesh Rizal, Forest and Environment Minister Birendra Prasad Mahato, National Planning Commission Vice Chairman Dr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, Chief Secretary Dr. Vaikunth Aryal, Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Maha Prasad Adhikari, along with private sector experts Bhawani Rana, Haribhakt Sharma, and Rajeshkaji Shrestha, were all in attendance from the Government of Nepal.

During the meeting, Board spokesperson Amrit Lamsal disclosed that discussions encompassed various topics, including a comprehensive review of the ongoing progress related to the 756 MW Tamor Reservoir Hydropower Project. As a strategic outcome of this evaluation, a decision was reached to establish a high-level committee. This committee’s purpose is to formulate recommendations that will guide the future trajectory of the Tamor Reservoir project.

It’s noteworthy that the Chinese company, Power Construction Corporation of China Limited (PCCL), originally tasked with executing the project, has not adhered to the stipulated terms of the contract. PCCL had initially entered into an agreement with the Board on Magh 2076 BS, intending to co-invest in the venture alongside Nepal’s Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company Limited (HIDCL).

Despite an initial understanding that the project’s detailed feasibility study could be concluded within two years from the agreement’s commencement, this crucial phase of the initiative remains incomplete. Consequently, the Investment Board officially sought an explanation from the Chinese company last Jestha. In response, PCCL attributed the delay to perceived insufficient cooperation from Nepal. Based on these deliberations, the board has made the decision to establish a high-level committee. This committee’s mandate is to provide recommendations after a comprehensive review of the situation, thereby charting a clearer path for the project’s future direction.

In a parallel move, the meeting resolved to form a negotiation committee led by Sushil Bhatt, Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Board. This committee’s central task involves crafting the final iteration of the Project Development Agreement (PDA) for the China-Nepal Friendly Industrial Park located in Damak.

Another consequential decision taken pertains to the issuance of a study permit to Dolpa Himalayan Energy. This permit is to facilitate the evaluation of a solar energy initiative with a capacity of 245 MW, along with a battery storage capacity of 20 MW in Rajpur Rural Municipality of Dang. Furthermore, the Investment Board acknowledged the submission of a detailed feasibility study report from Risen Energy Company Limited. This report outlines plans for the development of 250 MW of solar energy in Kohalpur, Banke, and Banganga, Kapilvastu.


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