Six companies have applied for prequalification to bid for the Tanahu Hydropower Project located in Tanahu district in western Nepal after the deadline was extended for lack of takers. The 140 MW plant will be built on the Seti River and is estimated to cost $505 million.

    Tanahu Hydropower Limited (THL) had called for prequalification applications on February 14 under two packages—detailed design and construction of headworks and detailed design and construction of waterway, powerhouse and related equipment. THL is a subsidiary of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) which has been established to build the Tanahu project.

    The six companies that have submitted prequalification applications for detailed design and construction of headworks are Sinohydro Corporation of China, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) of India, CMC of Italy, HCC Dogus of India, China Geghouba Group Company of India and Kalika Construction of Nepal in a joint venture with Songda of Vietnam.

    Three companies, Sinohydro, HCC and CMC Italy, have submitted prequalification applications for the second package too.

    Lok Prasad Nepal, joint director of THL, said that the evaluation process of the companies that have applied for prequalification would start on Monday under the leadership of Lahmeyer International, the consultant to the project.

    “We will start the evaluation tomorrow,” said Nepal. “We are not sure when it will be completed.”
    According to the notice issued by THL, applicants will be prequalified on the basis of their ability to satisfy the financial capability criteria and the technical experience criteria.

    The Tanahu hydro project will be one of Nepal’s biggest storage-type projects with an estimated average annual energy generation of 587.7 GWh for the first 10 years and 489.9 GWh from the 11th year. The project is designed for peaking up to six hours during the dry season.

    The project is being co-funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and European Investment Bank (EIB).

    A $150 million loan agreement was signed with the ADB on February 21, 2013 and another deal worth $183 million was signed with JICA on March 13, 2013. A $70 million loan agreement signed  with EIB on May 7, 2013 was subsequently increased to $85 million.

    The Nepal government will put up $71 million of the project’s $505 million estimated cost. The government and the NEA will bankroll the preparation of the preconstruction infrastructure.

    The NEA has begun developing reservoir-type projects after forming the subsidiary.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post