Rawa Khola developer courts local investors

rawakholaKHOTANG, Dec 16: Dudhkoshi Power Company, which is looking to develop Rawakhola Hydropower Project (6.5 MW) under public-private-partnership (PPP) model, has started a campaign to find investors in the district to develop the project.

Prem Lama, chairman of the company, told Republica said they were looking for local investors to develop the project. “Investors from other districts are jostling put their money into the project. But we want the locals of Khotang, including those who are plying their trade in foreign countries, to invest in the project,” Lama said. “We are convincing Khotang locals, including those living in Kathmandu, to invest in the project.”

Lama said they plan to collect 30 percent of the project cost from the local investors. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1 billion.

“We are trying to convince locals of the benefits that they would get by investing in the project. We are telling them that they would get 15 percent return on their investments in the first nine years and 25 percent return after 10 years,” Lama added.

The company has already started construction works on the project. The plan is to divert the waters of Rawa Khola, which flows between Hauchur and Jalpa village development committees (VDCs), through a 2.3 km canal from Bhainse to the powerhouse in Mangalbare.

The government had issued license to the company in February. The company had signed power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nepal Electricity Corporation (NEA) on January 20, 2013. As per the agreement, it will earn Rs 205 million annually. The company plans to arrange 70 percent of financing through banks and financial institutions. The project will be handed over to the government after 30 years.

Lama had received license for the project some nine years ago. It was later decided that the project would be developed as per the PPP model after the District Development Committee (DDC) Khotang decided to make the district load-shedding free within five years. The 18th District Council Meeting had decided to implement the project under PPP model.

According to conservative estimate, 4.5 MW of electricity would be sufficient for the district.

Lama said power generated by the project will be distributed in Okhaldhunga, Udaypur, Bhojpur, Solukhumbu and other neighboring districts apart from Khotang.

Source : Republica