Ministry begins process to scrap licences of 12 projects

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    KATHMANDU, SEP 05

    The Ministry of Energy has begun the process of scrapping survey licences of 12 hydropower projects that failed to accomplish the assigned tasks within the stipulated time. The ministry will also reject their applications for the construction generation license.

    Energy Secretary Hari Ram Koirala said he forwarded the names of these projects to the Department of Electricity Development three days ago, asking the department to initiate the licence scrapping process.

    All of the 12 projects — with a collective capacity of over 1,200MW — had applied for the construction and generation licence in December, 2011.

    Koirala said the ministry has asked the department to publish names of the projects in national daily newspapers within a week, giving them a 35-day time to complete their survey work. “If they fail to complete their survey work during the given time, they will be blacklisted and their survey licence will be scrapped,” he said, adding that the ministry has already decided to terminate the projects’ licences, but they are being warned so as to avoid any possible legal complexities.

    Ministry officials said the 12 projects did not make any progress even after holding the license for five years. As per the country’s electricity law, a survey license is valid for a maximum period of five years. Within the five years, the licence holder holder has to conclude environmental impact assessment (EIA) and sign connection agreement and power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) along with carrying out preliminary survey.

    However, these projects have not completed any of the aforementioned jobs, according to ministry officials. They added none of these projects abided by the ministry’s instruction that they furnish details about the progress made in the direction of connection agreement, PPA and EIA.

    The ministry had asked 50 projects, whose works were not found satisfactory, to submit their progress details. Sources at the ministry said it is also going through the available details of other 38 projects. “Once a decision on the 12 projects is taken, we will begin action against other projects,” a ministry official said.

    Dilli Bahadur Singh, director general at the department, said his office is preparing to publish the names of the 12 projects as per the ministry’s recommendations. “After publishing their names, we will listen to their grievances, if any,” he said. “If they could not justify their position, there licence will automatically be scrapped.”

    Source : The Kathmandu Post