Preparatory work of Upper Arun begins


    NEA forming a public limited company to execute the 335-MW project

    KATHMANDU, March 24: Preparatory work to build Upper Arun Hydroelectric Project has begun.

    Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Thursday published a notice to select consultants interested to carry out detailed engineering design as well as build a 24-kilometer access road, including a 1-8-kilometer tunnel, to the dam site. International bidders can participate in the competition, according to the notice.

    For detailed engineering design, six selected firms have been asked to submit technical and financial proposal for the peaking run of river project having capacity of 335 MW.

    Project officials, however, say that the capacity can be upgraded to 700 MW.

    The project is located about 30 km north from the dam site of Arun III, which is being built by Satluj Jal Vidhyut Nigam, in Sankhuwasabha district.  The project area lies about 15 kilometers south of Nepal-China border.

    The project will invite parties, interested to prepare the hydropower project’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to participate in the bidding, in the near future, according to project officials.

    NEA has already initiated the process of incorporating a public limited company to execute the project.

    The project is being executed with a fund of US$ 13 million of Nepal Power Sector Reform and Sustainable Hydropower — a World Bank project. Project Director Biswa Dhoj Joshi told Republica that project is likely to be upgraded to about 700 MW and may require an investment of $100 billion. “

    “The World Bank is interested to co-finance the project by forming a consortium with other international lending institutions and development partne”s,” Joshi said. The company will also collect equity fund from the project-affected locals and general public, he added.

    Upper Arun will probably be the first power plant that the World Bank is building in Nepal after the Arun III fiasco of the early 1990s.

    Source: My Republica