Survey license applications of NEA scrapped

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    NEA_BuldingKATHMANDU, April 17: The Department of Electricity Development (DoED) has scrapped applications for survey licenses of two storage type projects – Kali Gandaki II (660 MW) and Andhi Khola (180 MW).

    The department cancelled applications of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) after the latter failed to deposit the license fee within the stipulated timeframe.

    “The applications were scrapped after NEA failed to pay the fee even after 35-day public notice was published,” Gokarna Raj Pantha, senior divisional engineer at DoED, told Republica.

    In a bid to end the practice of holding licenses of water resources, the government had revised survey license fee for all hydropower projects in October last year.

    “Now onwards, DoED won´t take any decision on Kali Gandaki II as all hydropower projects above 500 MW are being handled by the Nepal Investment Board (NIB),” added Pantha.

    The NIB is a high-level government entity established around one and half years ago to implement mega projects on a fast track mode.

    The department has also warned all the applicants to pay the required fee as per the revised rates.

    Meanwhile, the board of directors of NIB has formed a project development agreement (PDA) negotiation team to hold dialogues with power developers. According to a press statement issued on Tuesday, Anup Kumar Upadhaya, director general at DoED; Keshab Dhoj Adhikari, joint secretary at Ministry of Energy; Bainkuntha Aryal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Finance; Mukunda Paudyal, joint secretary at NIB, Radesh Pant, CEO of NIB; and a representative from the Ministry of Law and Justice are the members of the team.

    The team will start PDA negotiation with the developers of four mega projects — Arun III (900 MW), Tamakoshi III (650 MW), Upper Karnali (900 MW) and Upper Marshyangdi (600 MW).

    Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam of India is developing the Arun III, while another Indian company GMR is executing the Upper Karnali and Upper Marsyangdi projects. Similarly, Norwegian firm SN Power is developing the Tamakoshi III.

    Source : Republica

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    NEA denied survey licences for 2 projects

    Indicating that the government will no longer give a favourable treatment to state-owned enterprises, the Department of Electricity Development on Tuesday scrapped Nepal Electricity Authority’s application for survey licence for two storage-type hydropower projects.

    The department scrapped the NEA’s application for projects, including 600MW Kali Gandaki-2 Hydropower Project and 180MW Andi Khola Hydropower Project.

    “This is the first time that the department has scrapped the application of government-owned power entity since it increased the license fee and started scrapping the permits of projects that failed to pay the revised fee,” said Anup Kumar Upadhya, director general at the department.

    The firms occupying survey licenses have been losing their permits one after another since the government increased the license fees in October 2012.

    Gokarna Raj Panta, spokesperson at DoED, said that the application of Kali Gandaki project was cancelled as the NEA did not pay the revised fee necessary for a survey licence. “Moreover, the application was also cancelled because a project above 500MW falls under the purview of the Investment Board of Nepal,” he clarified.

    Under the revised licence fee structure, the NEA is required to pay Rs 6 million to get a survey licence for Kali Gandaki project.

    Panta said the NEA also failed to pay the increased survey licence fee for Andi Khola project and the government had also planned to develop the project under the public private partnership (PPP) model under its recent Load-shedding Reduction Action Plan.

    As per the revised licence fee, the NEA was supposed to pay Rs 5 million to receive a survey licence for the Andi Khola project.

    “The NEA did not respond to our repeated reminders to come up with the increased licence fee,” added Panta.

    No matter whether the project planned to be developed by private or government developer, another official at the department said the department will treat them equally and scrap their licence or cancel the application for licence if they fail to pay the required licence fee.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post