SC upholds permit for Tamakoshi 3

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    Dec 26, 2017-The Supreme Court on Sunday quashed it’s earlier stay order to suspend the survey licence awarded to TBI Holding for the Tamakoshi 3 Hydropower Project by the Energy Ministry.

    The apex court’s decision will allow TBI Holding to go ahead with the project. The company is owned by Bhaban Bhatta, recently elected president of the Non-Resident Nepali Association, Last November, the Supreme Court issued an interim order directing the Energy Ministry to put the permit on hold until it reaches a final decision and summoned both the ministry and TBI Holding to a hearing.

    The Supreme Court had issued the order in response to a writ petition filed by lawyer Subash Budhathoki arguing that the government’s decision to award the project to TBI Holding without competitive bidding was illegal. In the petition, Budhathoki had accused the Energy Ministry of violating the Public Procurement Act, Investment Board Act and Good Governance Act besides several constitutional provisions when it issued the permit to TBI Holding.

    The company welcomed the court’s order saying it would now initiate a detailed feasibility study of the project. “We are waiting for the court’s written order,” said Animesh Kumar Mishra, CEO of TBI Holding. “Once we receive the order, we will start the detailed feasibility study which will determine the project’s installed capacity and other details.”

    Although the project had been originally designed to be built with an installed capacity of 650 MW, TBI Holding has indicated that the capacity will be cut by almost half.

    “The project’s installed capacity will be somewhere between 300 to 350 MW,” said Mishra. “The project had been originally designed to generate more power during the wet season. However, since we are planning to produce electricity for domestic consumption, the project will be designed to generate a large amount of energy during the dry season when demand is high.”

    Initially, Statkraft of Norway had proposed to develop the project with an installed capacity of 650 MW with the aim of exporting electricity to India. After the Norwegian company pulled out in January, there have been talks about reducing the installed capacity to produce more energy during the rainless months and make the project suitable for domestic use.

    Tamakoshi 3 is a run-of-the-river type project located in Dolakha and Ramechhap districts east of Kathmandu.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post