Feasibility study of Nepal’s largest hydel set to begin


    Vidhyut Utpadan Company (VUC) is preparing to conduct a detailed feasibility study of the country’s largest identified hydropower project. After getting a survey licence for the 1,902 MW Mugu Karnali Storage Hydroelectric Project from the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) several weeks ago, the state-owned enterprise is getting ready to conduct a detailed feasibility study and prepare a detailed project report (DPR).

    VUC is preparing the bidding documents to invite global tenders to appoint a consultant for the preparation of the DPR. Company officials are also planning to organise a site visit before publishing a tender for the selection of the consultant. The company plans to appoint the consultant within six months, according to Managing Director Mohan Raj Panta.

    The DoED has given the state-owned enterprise a two-year deadline to complete the study of the project. However, the company can apply for an extension of up to five years to complete the study. “Our plan is not to take too much time to complete the study,” said Panta. “We want to complete it as soon as possible.”

    Apart from Mugu Karnali, the state-owned company is undertaking the study of four other hydropower projects with a total installed capacity of 1,593 MW. The company is studying the 450 MW Kimathanka Arun, 426 MW Phukot Karnali, 307 MW Jagdulla Hydro and 410 MW Nalsing Gadh Hydro.

    VUC received the survey licence for Kimathanka Arun, Phukot Karnali and Jagdulla Hydro at the time of its incorporation in October 2016. The government awarded the 410 MW storage-type Nalsing Gadh Hydropower Project to the company by dissolving the development committee formed to build it.

    The company is planning to prioritise the construction of the project as per the country’s need once the detailed feasibility study is completed. “First of all, the project needs to be financially viable. Then we have to consider the energy demand of the country before undertaking the construction,” Panta told the Post.

    VUC was established under the Company Act 2006. The company will issue 17 percent of its shares to the general public. The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) hold 20 and 10 percent of the stock respectively.

    Likewise, the Finance and Law ministries each own 5 percent of the shares while the Employees’ Provident Fund and Nepal Telecom have a 10 percent stake each.

    The Citizen Investment Trust, Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company and Rastriya Beema Sansthan own 5, 4 and 2 percent of the shares respectively. The state-owned enterprise will offer 10 percent of the shares to locals affected by its hydropower projects, and 2 percent will be allotted to the extremely poor. The company has a paid-up capital of Rs300 million and an authorised capital of Rs20 billion.

    Source : The Kathmandu post