Energy Ministry to appeal against order to restore survey licence

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    KATHMANDU, MAY 30 –

    Ministry of EnergyThe Energy Ministry plans to appeal to the Supreme Court against the annulment by the Appellate Court of its decision to scrap the survey licence issued to Times Energy.

    Last year, the government cancelled the survey licence issued to Times Energy on April 27, 2011 for the 254 MW Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project citing “unsatisfactory” performance and violation of the law.

    In response, Times Energy filed a case against the ministry charging that it had cancelled the licence unlawfully. The company also claimed that its permit had been revoked while it was still valid. On March 26, the Patan Appellate Court ordered the Energy Ministry to restore the licence granted to Times Energy.

    According to the ministry, it scrapped the survey licence as Times Energy failed to fulfil the pledges it made when acquiring it. The company had stated that it would hire a Canadian company as its consultant. However, it hired an Indian company without the approval of the Department of Electricity Development. The ministry had then reissued the survey licence to Nauseni Hydro Company on Nov 18.

    Energy secretary Hari Ram Koirala said that as the survey licence for the project had already been given to another company, the decision cannot be withdrawn.

    According to him, the survey licence issued to Times Energy had been seized after it was found to be not carrying out the primary tasks like doing a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment (EIA), signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and performing technical and financial analysis.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post