Govt showcases 10 storage proejcts to investors

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    KATHMANDU, Aug 28 :

    Kulekhani Reservoir The government showcased several storage-type hydropower projects to domestic as well as international power developers on the first day of the Hydropower Investment Meeting that kicked off here on Wednesday.

    These projects are key to reducing power cuts in the country.

    Officials of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) – the state-owned energy distributor – showcased 10 promising and technically sound storage projects, which were selected from 102 storage projects after rigorous study, to the power developers. The study commissioned by NEA and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) concluded recently.

    The projects shortlisted by NEA and JICA are Madi (199 MW), Lower Jhimruk (142 MW), Nalsyau Gad (400 MW), Dudhkoshi (300 MW), Sunkoshi-3 (536 MW), Chera 1 (148 MW), Naumure (245MW), Andhikhola (180 MW), Lower Badigad (380 MW) and Kokhajor (111 MW).

    As storage projects need huge investment, developers were concerned about issues like of market, transmission line, risk-assurance issues of investments as well as export policy of the government.

    Presenting a paper on ´Investment in Hydroelectricity´, Deepak Rauniar, CEO of Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company, said the mixed model of domestic and foreign financing would be appropriate to bring investment for storage projects. “We can mobilize fund by introducing ´stock investment for retirement´ scheme to collect fund from public and by inviting domestic and foreign investors,” he added. “As people have been showing overwhelming response to IPOs of banks and financial institutions, this scheme could attract investors.”

    Showing example of Nalsyau Gad (400 MW) which needs investment of Rs 70 billion over eight years, Rauniar said, “We need Rs 8 billion a year which can be raised from private investors, foreign investors and general public.”

    The Asian Development Bank has show interested to invest in the project in coordination with HIDCL.

    “However, modality of share disbursement can be adjusted as per the need and discussion is underway as to who will lead the implementation of the project,” added Rauniar.

    Speaking at the program, Dalip Dua, managing director of Krishna Hydro based in India´s Uttarakhanda State, inquired about Nepal´s power import policy.

    However, government officials failed to answer Dua´s query properly. They could only say construction of Dhalkepur-Mujaffarpur cross-border transmission line is underway.

    “We would like to export 100 MW of thermal power generated by us to Nepal,” Dua said, asking authorities how his project can export power to Nepal.

    Officials couldn´t give satisfactory response to Dua. Dua also wanted to know why the issues related to Power Trade Agreement with India are being kept secret.

    Speaking at the inaugural session, Minister for Energy Uma Kant Jha urged the foreign developers and investors to choose storage projects that suit them.

    Source : The Republica