Kathmandu. The Solu River (Dudhkoshi) hydropower project, the biggest private investment so far, has been officially inaugurated after the construction of the Solu River in Solukhumbu has been completed and commercial operation generation has started. The project, which started commercial electricity production on March 1, was formally inaugurated by organizing a special function in the capital on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal formally inaugurated the commercial power generation from the project. With the start of formal power generation, the promoter of the project, Sahas Urja Company, has started selling electricity to the Nepal Electricity Authority.
Addressing the opening program, Him Pathak, Chairman of the company, said that he was happy to have formed the company on 14th September 2014 and contributed to the national broadcasting system by successfully constructing the project. He said that it was a great achievement to be able to start investing in hydropower from a small project called Upper Hugdi Khola of 5 MW and now to complete the project of 86 MW with indigenous capital.
“After the study showed that the project is economically and technically attractive, we gathered investment and started construction,” he said, “Success is not in books, but in hard work.” The successful construction of this project has increased the confidence that the private sector can now build a reservoir hydropower project of up to 500 megawatts with indigenous capital. Instead, he said that it was the country’s success.
Sushil Thapa, executive director of the company, said that the project will contribute 3.58 percent of the total energy currently available in the national transmission system. He said that the electricity generated by the project will contribute 0.3 percent to the country’s total domestic production.
“Due to the construction of our project, employment opportunities were created directly and indirectly at the local level,” he said. He also made a request to Dahal.
In the opening program, employees working in the promoter company of the project, members of the board of directors, advisors, consultants, civil, hydro and electromechanical and transmission line construction contractor companies and the bank leading the loan investment were also honored with certificates of appreciation.
Trial production of the project was started on February 10th,2023 . Commercial electricity generation from the project has been started after the completion of the trial period. The electricity produced by the project is connected to the Tinla substation of the Solu Corridor transmission line, which is 12 kilometers away from the power plant. The project is currently generating around 30 megawatts of electricity during the dry season.
With the start of commercial electricity generation from the project, it will now be possible to generate 520 gigawatt hours of electricity annually. According to the company, the maximum electricity generation is 419.93 gigawatt hours in dry season and 100.27 gigawatt hours in winter.
About 12 billion rupees have been spent to complete this project. 9 banks including Nepal Investment Bank have invested 8.65 billion rupees in the project. 3 and a half billion rupees of equity investment.
Before the construction of the project started, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was signed between the promoter company and the Nepal Electricity Authority on 25th February 2015. 70 percent of the project’s equity investment is the founder. 30 percent of common people have investment. There are 8,115 founder shareholders who invest in founder shares.