The Ministry of Energy (MoE) has decided to issue survey licence of two hydropower projects in the eastern part of the country to Remit Hydro Ltd (RHL) based on the recommendation of Department of Electricity Development (DoED).
The DoED had recommended issuing survey licence of 71.5-megawatt Ghunsa Khola Hydropower Project and 53.7MW Sinbuwa Khola Hydropower Project to RHL. The ministry has recently approved the recommendation and the DoED will issue the licence to RHL following the decision, Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma told The Himalayan Times.
RHL, established as a subsidiary of Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company Ltd (HIDCL) in February of 2015, had proposed to develop hydro plants by mobilising internal resources of the country. The RHL plans to tap remittances as major source of project financing for hydro projects.
State-owned HIDCL had established a subsidiary to prove that hydropower projects can be developed through internal resources. The paid-up capital of the subsidiary stands at Rs 255 million.
The projects, which the RHL is going to develop, will not exceed a total cost of Rs 19 billion, as per HIDCL.
RHL had proposed to develop mid-sized hydro projects (of around 150 megawatts), but the DoED has recommended two small-sized projects in Taplejung district. “Both projects can be developed simultaneously as they are located close to each other,” said Deepak Rauniar, CEO of HIDCL. “We will not treat them as separate projects.”
Feasibility study on Ghunsa project has already been completed. However, Rauniar stated that RHL will review the feasibility of Ghunsa and begin the feasibility study of Sinbuwa project. RHL will develop the project after fast-tracking Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), as per Rauniar. RHL will need to conduct the EIA as the installed capacity of both the projects is above 50MW. RHL will have to complete all these procedures within five years to obtain the generation licence of the said projects.
RHL plans to hold a 51 per cent stake in these projects, while 24 per cent equity investment will come from migrant workers, 10 per cent from the locals, and the remaining 15 per cent will be raised through initial public offering (IPO). RHL has been preparing to allocate certain per cent of local shares and IPO to females to promote gender inclusion and also to empower women. The modality to sell the shares to migrant workers will be finalised soon.
“We’ve initiated the Remit Hydro concept in Nepal because people at large here don’t believe mid-sized hydro projects can be developed utilising domestic resources,” said Rauniar. “As the monetary policy had raised the threshold of financing in agriculture and hydro projects to 15 per cent of the total loan portfolio of the commercial banks, there is enormous untapped resource within the country that can be mobilised to develop these hydro projects.”
Source : The Himalayan Times.