NEA to hold study on 10 storage type projects

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    KATHMANDU, SEP 18 –

    The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has selected 10 storage-type hydropower projects with a collective capacity of 2,652MW to carry out a feasibility study.

    Kulekhani ReservoirThe 10 projects are among the 31 projects approved by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for further study. NEA had conducted a pre-feasibility study on 65 projects last year under the funding JICA, of which 31 projects were approved, NEA officials said.

    “As these projects were found to be the most appropriate and viable in terms of financial, technical and geographical aspects, a feasibility study will be carried out on them,” said Sunil Dhungel, director of NEA’s Power Development Division.

    Currently, NEA does not have a project that can immediately go into the construction phase.

    “In the absence of a project at hand, NEA is not in a position to open survey licence for project development,” said a high-level NEA source, adding that JICA will fund feasibility study.

    The NEA source said among the 10 projects, five are located in the Western River Basin area, while Eastern River Basin and Mid River Basin areas will have three and two projects, respectively.

    The 10 projects are Madi Khola (199 MW), Lower Jhimruk (142 MW), Nalsinghgadh (400 MW), Chehera-I (149 MW), Naumure (245 MW), Dudhkoshi (300 MW), Sunkoshi-III (536 MW), Khokhajor (111 MW), Adhikhola (180 MW) and Lower Badhigad (380 MW).

    “These projects have been identified as per the set criteria,” said Dhungel. “Among them, the most significant projects will be studied with first priority.”

    NEA officials said the feasibility study will begin within the next three months and is expected to be completed by 2014.

    Anup Kumar Upadhya, spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, said an action plan on the development of storage projects was prepared with JICA’s technical and financial support during Gokarna Bista’s tenure as energy minister. “Other projects will also be studies gradually,” he said.

    NEA, of late, is concentrating on storage-type projects as the traditional run-of-the-river projects have proved ineffective during the dry season.

    “Storage-type projects will be an effective long-run solution to power crisis,” said Upadhya.

    NEA so far has issued survey licences to independent power producers for projects with a collective capacity of 11,645MW electricity, but all the projects are ROR type.

    NEA is also studying 14 projects with total capacity of about 4,000MW. Of them, 11 are storage-type projects.

    Among the 14 projects, Desk study is being carried out on three projects, pre-feasibility study on two, and feasibility study on seven. NEA is preparing a detailed project report (DPR) on two projects.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post