NIB forms PDA talks team for big hydro projects

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    Power development agreementsKATHMANDU, April 7: The secretariat of the Nepal Investment Board (NIB), a high-level government entity, has formed a project development agreement (PDA) negotiation team and is planning to seek approval for it from the NIB board of directors.

    The NIB secretariat has formed a six-member team comprising representatives from NIB and the Ministries of Finance (MoF), Energy (MoE) and Forests and Soil Conversation (MoFSC), according to a member of the team.

    “The team should be approved by the board. The NIB secretariat will forward a proposal to the board for that purpose,” the member said on condition of anonymity.

    According to the source, NIB has selected Radesh Pant, chief executive officer at NIB; Mukunda Poudel, joint-secretary at NIB, and Baikuntha Aryal, joint-secretary at MoF, as well as another joint-secretary at MoF, two joint-secretaries at MoE and a joint-secretary at MoFSC as members of the PDA negotiation team.

    NIB, which is currently working to take forward the development of four mega hydropower projects, formed the team on the basis of a mandate it received from the government a couple of months ago.

    The projects currently on hand include the 900 MW Arun III, 650 MW Tamakoshi III, 900 MW Upper Karnali and 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi.

    “The team will start PDA negotiations with the developers of those four mega projects after it is approved by the board of directors meeting scheduled within the next couple of weeks. Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam is lined up for the development of Arun III, GMR for Upper Karnali and Upper Marsyangdi and SN Power for Tamakoshi III. Sutlej and GMR and Indian companies whereas SN Power is Norwegian.

    The PDA negotiations, one of the crucial stages in project development, are yet to be held with all the developers. According to officials, the PDA template — a baseline document for such negotiations — is also yet to be finalized.

    However, Pant said that the board of directors has already approved the PDA template.

    NIB is developing the PDA template with the technical and legal support of Herbert Smith, a legal consultancy firm based in London.

    “The PDA template is a basic requirement in sitting for negotiations with developers,” an official at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers told Republica. “The finalization of the PDA template is even more important at this moment.”

    Source :  Republica