HIDCL garnering equity fund for hydroprojects

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    KATHMANDU, Feb 2

    HIDCLThe Hydropower Investment and Development Company Limited (HIDCL) is set to bring investment from foreign banks and financial institutions through equity fund to garner investment for energy even from abroad with its own fund proving inadequate for hydropower projects.

    It has taken initiative for soft loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) to bring more investment in projects. The company currently has Rs 8.77 billion that can build only a project of 55 MW. “We are facing problems to garner our own capital for hydropower projects,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HIDCL Dipak Rauniyar stated. We are bringing hydro equity fund of US$ 50 million to invest up to 15 percent. We are holding discussions with banks and financial institutions of different countries for that. We need equity capital of 30 percent to generate investment of 70 percent. The equity fund aims to garner that,” he elaborated.

    He revealed that two foreign banks have expressed interest to invest on the fund to be operated by HIDCL. He added that OPG Power and Infrastructure of Britain is ready to directly invest Rs 1 billion on the project as equity capital. “OPG has given words to invest Rs 1 billion immediately after we give a financially lucrative project. We have also started discussions with ADB and WB for soft loans. The institutions are positive about soft loans,” he claimed.   .

    HIDCL has signed investment agreement of Rs 1.70 billion in three hydropower projects of up to 15 MW in co-financing with different banks. It is also investing 14 percent in equity capital on Power Transmission Company Nepal Limited (PTCN) to construct 40-kilometer 400 KV Transmission Line from Dhalkebar to Bhittamode as part of the Nepal-India Transnational Transmission Line. The amount of investment has not been finalized for this project as the investment structure has yet to be decided. HIDCL has also signed loan agreements with promoters to invest Rs 1 billion in 42 MW Mistrikhola Hydropower Project, Rs 500 million in 27 MW Dordikhola Hydropower Project, and Rs 200 million in 23.5 MW Upper Solu Hydropower Project. A few other projects are in the pipeline for investment. It will invest the balance amount in the projects through co-financing.

    HIDCL has invested in projects of at least 15 MW in co-financing with banks and financial institutions by expanding the scope of investment. It has taken a decision of investing a minimum of Rs 200 million on projects of 15-25 MW by expanding the investment structure. It earlier had the provision of investing at least Rs 250 million in projects of up to 25 MW.

    HIDCL has already received Rs 8 billion from those owning promoter shares. It has collected Rs 5 billion from finance, energy, and law ministries and the Office of the Financial Comptroller General, and Rs 3 billion from the Employees Provident Fund, Rastriya Beema Sansthan and Citizen Investment Trust. HIDCL is selling 2 million shares of Rs 1,000 per unit worth Rs 2 billion to the commoners. It is doing internal preparations for that

    Source : Baburam Khadka / Karobar Daily