Lower Indrawati Electricity Project: Failing to get payments, contractor sells equipment

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    April 30 –

    Perspective of Lower Indrawati Hydropower Station
    Perspective of Lower Indrawati Hydropower Station

    Pingxiang Mining Industry Group, the Chinese contractor of Lower Indrawati Electricity Project, has started selling its machineries, complaining that it did not get payments for the last one and half years.

    The 4.5MW project being developed by National Hydropower Company has lain abandoned for the last two and half years. Promoted by the defamed NB Group, the project is nowhere near to completion even after eight years of its construction although it was scheduled to be completed in just two and half years initially.

    The company’s manager Wan Wensheng wrote to Melamchi Police, stating that it was compelled to sell machineries in order to pay salaries to the staff, according to the police. In the letter, the company has also informed that the Chinese embassy would make diplomatic efforts to settle the issue, if it is not resolved locally.

    The company had signed a contract with the developers, promising to complete the work within 28 months. However, only around 30 percent of the work has been completed so far, according to the project. Surprisingly, more than two-third of estimated resources has already been spent. The project said Rs 640 million out of the estimated cost of Rs 900 million has been spent.

    Newly elected board member of National Hydropower Company Deepak Karki said the Chinese contractor has gone against the contract by selling its equipment. “The contractor has not disclosed how much amount it received from former promoters,” he said.

    Located at Jyamere, Dubachaur and Melamchi VDCs, the project was previously registered as Sunkoshi Hydropower Project, which was later transferred to National Hydropower Company.

    The future of the project has become uncertain after former directors of the company Laxmi Bahadur Shrestha andd Jen Shrestha were blacklisted by the Credit Information Bureau over loan defaults.

    The new directors say they are surprised with the size of payment made from banks despite little work.

    On the new seven-member board, only three members represent the NB Group. A consortium of banks including Nabil Bank, Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Bank has financed the project. National Hydropower Company has also issued rights shares worth Rs 400 million. Around Rs 700 million more will be needed to complete rest of the construction work.

     

    Source : The Kathmandu Post