Kathmandu, Oct. 20:
Construction work of the much-talked-about 216 MW Upper Trishuli-1 Hydroelectricity Project is yet to begin due to lack of Project Development Agreement (PDA) despite the completion of other necessary requirements.
The government has not yet decided about the Project Development Agreement (PDA) of the hydropower project though the company has already submitted all the necessary documents.
The Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) and other works of the project were badly affected due to delays in preparing the PDA of the project.
Located in Rasuwa district, the hydropower project was supposed to go for the construction within September this year and completed by March 2019.
However, the government has not taken any decision regarding the PDA of the project even six months after the company submitted its file.
When asked about the delay in the PDA of the project, Energy Secretary Bishwoprakash Pandit said that the government was working on it and would finalise the issue shortly.
At a time when the country has been reeling under perennial power outage, the timely construction of the project might provide substantial respite to the load-shedding hit people in the country.
The project is promoted by Nepal Water and Energy Development Company Limited (NWEDC).
NWEDC is a predominantly South Korean consortium with stakes of three South Korean companies- Korea South East Power Company Limited, Daelim Industrial Company Limited, and Kyeryong Construction Industrial Company Limited-International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a Nepali partner.
It has already completed the engineering design approval of Environment Impact Assessment Report, drilling and drifting works, company registration, financial arrangement of equity capital, tree cutting approval and land acquisition among others
The donor community, including IFC has raised its serious concerns over the delays in the PDA of the project.
The project- expected to start commissioning in March 2019- will generate 1456 GWh of electricity.
The Upper Trishuli-1 project is expected to be one of the largest private sector hydropower projects in Nepal in terms of investment.
Upper Trishuli-1 will increase existing hydropower generation capacity by almost 1/3rd (216 MW) and will add around 50 per cent (1456 GWh) of electricity to the current annual electricity generated in Nepal and help meet the huge unmet demand of electricity in Nepal.
This ‘run of the river’ project that will be completed by March 2019 and will start energy transmission – is expected to cost $550 million.
The project site is located at a distance of 70 km north-west from Kathmandu and is expected to help reduce power cuts in the capital.
Source : The Rising Nepal
Photo : NWEDC Website