NOC seeks 25pc share in Budhigandaki hydel project


    The state-owned Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has sought at least 25 per cent organisational share of the yet-to-be-built 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki Hydropower Project.

    NOC recently wrote a letter to the Ministry of Supplies (MoS) urging it to do the needful so that the corporation gets a share in the hydel project citing that NOC is the major financing source for the project.

    As envisioned by the 2016-17 fiscal budget, the government has been levying an additional five rupees per litre each on petrol, diesel and aviation turbine fuel at customs offices as infrastructure tax for the construction of the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project.

    Since then, NOC has claimed that more than Rs 15 billion has been collected under this heading from fuel for the Budhigandaki hydel project.

    “NOC is helping the government to generate financial resources for Budhigandaki, which means that NOC should have organisational share in the project,” said Sushil Bhattarai, acting deputy managing director of NOC.

    Anticipating that the completion of the $2.5-billion hydel project might take another 10 to 15 years, Bhattarai said that NOC will contribute more than 50 per cent of the project cost by the next 10 years and almost 80 per cent of the project cost by next 15 years.

    “The project has been collecting a majority of financial resources from NOC. If the government ensures NOC’s share in the project, this
    will help the organisation to become diversified and strong,” added Bhattarai.

    Earlier in November, the government had decided to construct the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project through its own resources by terminating the project’s contract with the China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC).

    Budhigandaki Hydropower Project is the country’s largest planned hydroelectric project.

    Meanwhile, officials at the MoS said that though they have received a letter from NOC in this regard, the ministry is yet to decide on providing shares of the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project to the corporation.

    Source : The Himalayan Times.