KATHMANDU, April 9
Investor Export Import Bank (Exim) of China will take back loans if the under-construction Upper Trishuli 3 A is not completed within two years.
The representatives of Exim Bank of China, on a Nepal visit to receive information about the project’s progress, have met officials of the Energy Ministry and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and reminded them that the loan period expires on May 18, 2016. Joint Secretary at the ministry Keshav Dhwaj Adhikari revealed that the bank clarified that loan period cannot be extended if the project is not completed within scheduled time. The bank has provided soft loan of US$ 115.11 million (around Rs 11 billion) for the project. NEA informed that 42 percent of the project has been completed and officials at the ministry concede that there is little chance of the project being completed within two years at the current pace. Construction of the project had started in June, 2011 with an aim of completing it within 35 months. The deadline for completing the project is expiring on April 30.
Project Chief Uttam Bahadur Amatya stated that preparations are being made to extend the deadline by two years as it will not be completed in scheduled time. He revealed that the proposal to that regard has reached the management. He conceded that there is possibility of rise in project cost but added that there has been no discussion about that. The project was stalled for a long time due to the controversy of upgrading it. NEA had taken back the decision to upgrade the project following widespread pressure. Digging of 65 percent of the tunnel has been completed. Amatya claimed that construction of the project has been affected due to the delay in bringing explosives. Civil contractor China Gezhouba Group Company, meanwhile, has made compensation claims for US$ 90 million (around Rs 9 billion) citing delay in construction due to various reasons. But NEA has refused to pay compensation and stated that decision about the claim will only be made through the Dispute Execution Board. Amatya claimed that construction of transmission line has been delayed due to problems in land acquisition. China Water Electric Corporation (CWE), that has been contracted for construction of 44-kilometer 220 KV transmission line from the project site to Thankot, has started to bring materials for construction of transmission line.
The affected locals have yet to be compensated. China Gezhouba will do civil, hydromechanical and electromechanical construction of the project to be built in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) model. The project to be built in Nuwakot will generate 489 million units of electricity a year, according to a study. The 60 MW project is expected to generate 53 MW even during dry season. Another 42 MW will be generated by pouring the water from the project’s tailrace on Trishuli 3 B. The company revealed that construction of Trishuli 3 B will also start from the next year.
Source : Karobar Daily