MoE’s study report excludes status of Kabeli ‘A’, three other projects

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    Ministry of EnergyKATHMANDU, Dec 3: A study report on status of different hydropower projects, which was tabled by the Ministry of Energy (MoE) to Agriculture and Water Resources Committee (AWRC) of legislature-parliament on Tuesday, excludes status of four hydropower projects including the controversial Kabeli ´A´.

    Along with Kabeli ´A´ (37.6 MW), the report does not mention anything at all about Balefi B (4.53 MW), Lower Balefi (20 MW) and Upper Ingwakhola (9.7 MW) hydropower projects.

    The ministry prepared the report to implement the directions of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). Taking separate decision on September 5 and October 29, CIAA had directed MoE to cancel survey and generation licenses of altogether 14 projects after they failed to sign Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and achieve financial closure within the given timeframe.

    The fate of the projects, however, has become uncertain after two parliamentary committees — AWRC and Finance Committee — raised questions on the jurisdiction of CIAA. MoE officials, particularly energy secretary Rajendra Kishor Kshatri, have remained indecisive on the issue.

    Energy secretary is the final authority to take decision on licenses of hydropower projects.

    Talking to Republica, Kshatri said the study report was prepared for internal purpose. “We submitted it to AWRC as per the demand. It is not necessary to prepare reports of other four projects,” he argued.

    Finance Committee directed MoE not to scrap licenses as directed by CIAA arguing that the decision will affect implementation of the projects, particularly Kabeli ´A´ which is financed by the World Bank Group.

    MoE Spokesperson Keshav Dhwaj Adhikari said they were not in a position to take decision on the fate of 14 projects due to conflicting directions from CIAA and parliamentary committees.

    Energy Minister Radha Gyawali had told AWRC on Sunday that she would bring the agenda of licenses to the cabinet to protect the genuine developers.

    Meanwhile, discussions on those projects are underway at AWRC. It has invited CIAA Chief Lok Man Singh Karki yet again to hold discussion on its directions before arriving at the conclusion.

    Source : Republica