HIDCL seeks two mid-sized hydro projects

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    KATHMANDU, JUL 18 – Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company Limited (HIDCL) has applied with the Department of Electricity Development for the development of two mid-sized hydropower projects that are in the government’s basket.

    The state-owned company has sought approval from the licensing body for 78MW Ghunsa Khola Hydropower Project and 53MW Sinbuwa Khola Hydropower Project. HIDCL CEO Deepak Rauniyar said the two projects, if approved, would be developed by its subsidiary—Remit Hydro Limited. “As Remit Hydro is a government-promoted company, we expect the Department of Electricity Development will consider giving the projects,” he said.

    The projects, which would also have investments from migrant workers, are based in the eastern hilly district Taplejung. HIDCL said the project site will be close to the confluence of the two streams.

    Of the two projects, feasibility study on Ghunsa has already been completed, while study on Sinbuwa is yet to be done, Rauniyar said. The combined estimated cost for the projects is Rs19 billion.

    HIDCL said it would held a 51percent stake in each project, 24 percent investment would come from migrant workers, 10 percent from the locals, and the remaining 15 percent of the funding would be raised through initial public offering (IPO). “We later plan to divest our stake to the private sector which will make us one of the minority shareholders,” said Rauniyar.

    In a new initiative to promote gender inclusion, HIDCL would ensure that 50 percent of the shares floated through IPO and those issued for the locals would be obtained by women.

    Rauniyar said given most of households are currently being run by the women due to migration of men for foreign employment, making women shareholders of these projects make sense. “It will also help empower the women economically,” he said.

    To ensure adequate funds from the migrant workers come, HIDCL has planned a scheme under which the workers can buy project shares on the basis of Equated Monthly Installment (EMI).

    The company has so far funded eight hydropower projects and a cross-border transmission line project.  It has resources of Rs8.8 billion and plans to conduct an IPO.

    Source : eKantipur