RASUWA: The fourth round of negotiations to sign the Project Development Agreement (PDA) of the Upper Trishuli-I Hydroelectric Project is scheduled for Monday. Nepal Water and Energy Development Company (NWEDC), the developer of the 216 MW project stated that if the PDA and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) are finalised, they could immediately start construction work.
“We are optimistic that this time we can finalise the PDA as in the third round of negotiations both parties had agreed on most of the issues,” said Baburam Bharadwaj, general manager at NWEDC.
According to the company, they have already completed track opening, test tunnel excavation, land acquisition, tree cutting permission and construction of 4.5 km stretch out of the 15 km access road. The project has also got approval for Environmental Impact Assessment and to conduct the Cumulative Impact Assessment study a consultant has been appointed.
Keshab Dhoj Adhikari, spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy, said, “There are only a few issues to agree on to have PDA pact signed for Upper Trishuli-I project. The developer has demanded for payment guarantee by the government. As there is no clear policy, we have yet to agree.” According to him, the PDA document will be more or less like the recently signed PDAs of Upper Karnali and Arun III projects.
NWEDC obtained the survey licence for the run-of-river type Upper Trishuli-1 project in January 2006 and the company initiated the process for PDA in March 2013. The project will affect Haku, Dhunche and Ramche VDCs of Rasuwa. According to the company, the estimated total project cost would be approximately Rs 57.8 billion.
The project, designed under Q51, will generate 306.7 Gwh during dry season and 1,149.7 Gwh of energy in wet season annually. It will have three generation units of 72 MW each. The energy generated by the project will be evacuated via the proposed substation of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) at Trishuli 3B project at Manakamana VDC in Nuwakot.
As per the company, they have proposed PPA at 6.9 cents per unit with annual escalation rate of three per cent for the first 10 years of generation. However, NEA has yet to decide on PPA in US dollar terms.
Project officials said they would allocate 10 per cent of the shares in the project to locals from affected areas. The project is being promoted by KOSEP (50 per cent), Daelim (15 per cent) and Kyeryong (10 per cent) — companies of South Korea; International Finance Corporation (15 per cent), and Bikesh Pradhanang (10 per cent) — a Nepali promoter. IFC, ADB, Proparco (France), DEG (Germany), FMO (The Netherlands) and Korean Development Bank are the funding agencies for the project.
Source : The Himalayan Times