DoED issues 13 new hydro survey licenses


    KATHMANDU, May 2: The Department of Electricity Development (DoED) issued 13 new survey licenses for different hydropower projects with installed capacity of 715.15 MW in the last six months.

    The licenses were extended after the department revised the survey license fee structure from a range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000 in the past to Rs 1 million to Rs 6 million in October 2012.

    According to the DoED, 13 survey licenses that were issued in the last six months comprise small-, medium- to large-scale hydro projects. The projects are: 6MW Buku Khola in Solu, 10.5MW Lower Nyadi in Lamjung, 24.8MW Bajra Madi in Kaski, 60MW Bhotekoshi V in Sindhupalchwok and 27.2 MW Khimti II in Ramechhap.

    Other projects that obtained new survey licenses are: 254MW Upper Budi Gandaki in Gorkha, 7.6MW Rudi Khola B in Kaski, 3.75MW Dwari Khola in Dailekh, 10MW Daram in Baglung, 5MW Hewa A in Panchthar, 2.3MW Upper Puwa in Ilam, 300MW Dudhkopshi in Khotang and 4MW Garchyang in Kaski.

    The government had earlier raised survey license fees to curb developers´ proclivity of holding project licenses for resale purpose.

    “Following the upward revision in fees, the DoED had asked all applicants to refer to the revised rate structure,” Gokarna Raj Pantha, senior divisional engineer at the DoED, told Republica.

    As per the amendment in the regulation, hydro project survey license fees have been divided into six categories.

    The new fees are: Rs 1 million for 1MW to 5MW projects, Rs 2 million for projects of 5 MW to 10 MW, Rs 3 million for 10MW to 25MW projects, Rs 4 million for projects of 25 MW to 100 MW, Rs 5 million for 100MW to 500MW projects and Rs 6 million for hydro projects of above 500 MW.

    Earlier, the minimum survey license fee was Rs 50,000, with maximum standing at Rs 200,000.

    “The hike in survey license fees has discouraged the tendency of holding license without putting due efforts to develop projects,” Pantha said.

    According to Panta, the DoED issued 23 survey licenses for different projects with installed capacity of 1,233 MW in the same period a year ago.

    “With the upward revision in license fee structure, only genuine developers will think of applying for the license,” Pantha said.

    The DoED had earlier warned more than 1,600 different applicants to pay survey license application fees as per the revised rate if they want to secure their licenses.

    Source :  Republica


    Survey licences issued to 13 hydropower projects



    After the government hiked the survey licence fee, the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) issued survey licences to 13 hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 715.15 MW during the last six months. They were issued on different dates after Oct 1, 2012 when the government hiked the survey licence fee.

    The number of licences issued is lower than during the same period in the previous year when 23 projects with a combined capacity of 1,233 MW received them.

    “The number of projects receiving licences declined sharply after the licence fee was hiked,” said Anup Kumar Upadhya, director general of the DoED, “This shows that only a few players who were confident about their financial potential to invest and truly intended to develop the projects received the licences.”

    A high-level DoED official said that though a fewer number of developers received survey licences in the last six months, they seem to be genuine in their objective to develop the projects as they paid the increased licence fee.

    Gokarna Raj Pantha, spokesperson at the department, said that though some of the recipients had begun applying for the licence two years ago, they were issued the licence only after they paid the renewed fee along with all the required documents including environmental impact assessment (EIA), power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), feasibility study and the project’s financial closure, among others.

    The DoED collected Rs 63 million from the 12 projects that paid the renewed licence fee while one project, Garchyang Project (4 MW), paid another Rs 100,000 as the Supreme Court issued a stay order not to charge it the renewed fee.

    “The department is currently processing documents of another 10 projects that have fulfilled the set criteria including submission of the increased licence fee and the required documents,” said Pantha.

    Similarly, the number of applicants applying for survey licences went down dramatically in the last six months following the increment of the licence fee. During the period, only one project, Galkot Daram (5 MW) applied for a survey licence. “As the project has submitted all the required documents and paid the renewed charge, it will soon receive the licence,” added Pantha.

    However, Upadhya said that apart from the increased licence fee, reasons like the apathy of the NEA to sign PPAs and develop transmission lines and the restricted energy market, among others, discouraged investors from applying for licences during the period. Publishing a notice in the Nepal Gazette last October, the government had significantly increased the licence fee for hydropower projects of all sizes.

    According to the new licence rates, hydropower survey licences have been divided into six categories. The minimum survey licence fee for a hydropower project has been fixed at Rs 100,000. Earlier, the minimum licence fee was Rs 50,000 and the maximum Rs 200,000.

    Following the increment, the government and independent power producers (IPPs) have squared off over the issue. While the government began scrapping the permits of non-paying projects, a number of IPPs rushed to court and many of them obtained a stay order against the department’s decision.

    The DoED scrapped the survey licences of 42 projects having a combined capacity of around 1,500 MW in a six-month period. Meanwhile, 50 projects went to court challenging the decision among which 40 have acquired stay orders from the court.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post