The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has agreed to extend term of Chinese sub-contractor for the construction of electro mechanical part of 14MW Kulekhani Hydropower Project III for the next two years to enable it to complete the assigned task.
The construction works of the project’s electro mechanical part has come into halt after the contract period awarded to Chinese company Jheijian Jinlin Electromechanical expired last week without completion of the assigned job.
NEA Director Ram Chandra Pandey said that the authority’s board meeting held on Tuesday agreed to extend the term of the Chinese company up to July 27, 2014 as requested by the project. “However, a formal decision is yet to be taken,” he said. The project had earlier asked the NEA board to extend the term up to two years in a bid to continue and complete the project works. The construction of the project was started from April 27, 2008.
The Chinese company had taken the responsibility of electro mechanical works some 18 months ago, promising to complete its work within July 17, 2012. However, owing to disturbances at the project site and delays from consultants, less than 20 percent of the works have been completed so far.
“If the term is extended, the works will be completed within the next two years,” said Pratap Malla, chief of the Kulekhani project, “The electro mechanical works could not progress forward due to several impediments in the past.” Earlier, indecision on the part of NEA resulted in delay in handing over of the job to the contractor.
As recommended by the project, the NEA has already begun the process to hire the consultant for the project, according to Pandey. “We will hire the consultant as soon as possible,” he added. Nepal Water and Energy Development Company (NWEDC) had been the consultant for the project previously, which has been blacklisted.
The national priority project has been facing one after another hurdle over the last four years that resulted in less than 50 percent works in the project.
Sino Hydro, the main contractor of the project, tried to abandon the project last year in breach of the contract with the NEA, citing non-payment of its compensation claims. The company has, however, resumed work since last February. The project, supposed to be completed by Dec 7, 2011, has been delayed due to various reasons.