Independent Power Producers demand govt to lift PPA restriction

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KATHMANDU, Feb 6: Private hydropower producers have demanded the government open power purchase agreements (PPA), which the government has put on hold for the past four years.

In a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Rajendra Lingden, the representatives from the Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN) on Monday, urged the government to release restrictions on 1,500 MW run-of-river (RoR) type hydropower projects. The delegation team was led by the IPPAN President Krishna Prasad Acharya, along with Vice-presidents Ashish Garg and Mohan Kumar Dangi, General Secretary Gore Sherpa , Secretary Balram Khatiwada and Bharat Khatri, Treasurer Ananda Chaudhary and member Uttam Blon and Prakash Dalal .

Last June, the government increased the quota for RoR projects to 45 percent from 35 percent. This had allowed the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to open the PPA for the pipeline projects. However, the NEA has not approved the government’s increased quota provision yet. The NEA high-ranking officials are said to be in search of a mid way to take a non-controversial decision over the issue, resulting in the delay in conducting the PPA.

The IPPAN also demanded the government to permit the private sector for cross border energy trading and enactment of the Electricity Act as soon as possible.