Govt seeks progress reports from 1,000 small hydel projects

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    Department of Electricity Development (DOED)KATHMANDU, March 3: The government has sought progress reports from the developers of 200 small hydropower projects that acquired power generation licenses since 1993 and another 800 developers who have received survey licenses.

    The Department of Electricity Development (DoED) has said it will scrap the generation licenses and survey licenses of the developers if they failed to produce progress report within 35 days starting Sunday.

    “This move aims to eliminating the tendency of occupying licenses,” an official at the DoED told Republica.

    Confirming the development, Gokarna Raj Pantha, senior divisional engineer at the DoED, said that the developers who communicate with the DoED within the given time period could be provided additional time for project development. “But additional time would be given only after evaulating the progress reports,” Pantha said.

    According to Pantha, all the hydropower projects in question are below 1 megawatt capacity. “The collective generation capacity of the 200 projects is 150 megawatts,” Pantha said.

    Similarly, the DoED has sought project documents from the developers of 800 other projects that have not submitted the documents as per the License Regulations-2011. “The DoED had given them permission to conduct surveys of the projects, but they never submitted survey reports,” Pantha said.

    According to Pantha, all the 800 projects are also below 1 megawatt capacity. “We will scrap the survey licenses of those projects that fail to submit required documents within the next 35 days from Sunday,” Pantha said.

    The DoED, which is entrusted to issue survey and generation licenses to hydropower developers, has warned most of the developers one after another in the last couple of months. “Licenses for survey and power generation have been issued for over 2,000 projects in last two decades,” Pantha said. “We are in the process of updating the status of all those projects and not allow anyone just to simply occupy the licenses.”

    According to Pantha, the DoED has so far provided survey licenses of 400 projects with total generation capacity of 12,000 megawatts. Likewise, the DoED has awarded generation licenses of around 100 projects whose collective generation capacity is 2,500 MW. “There are applications for generation licenses of 70 projects that have installation capacity 3,000 MW,” Pantha informed. “We are in the process of reviewing the progress made by the developers and applicants so far.”

    Source : Republica