22 May, Kathmandu, The funding for the highly anticipated Tamakoshi-V Hydropower Project, a renewable energy initiative poised to significantly augment Nepal’s power generation capacity, has been successfully secured.
The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable development by investing a substantial amount of Rs 13.74 billion into this venture.
The Tamakoshi-V Project, to be located in the Bigu Rural Municipality of Dolakha, is expected to have an installed capacity of 99.8 megawatts (MW). With the funding secured, the project’s total estimated cost, encompassing construction expenses and the accrued interest during the construction period, is now projected at Rs 21.14 billion.
The remaining funds required for the establishment of the public hydropower programme will be acquired through the issuance of shares to the general public.
The financing structure will consist of 65 per cent debt and 35 per cent equity, facilitating effective financial management throughout the project.
On Sunday, in the presence of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet, a trilateral agreement was signed between Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Tamakoshi Hydropower Co Ltd and EPF.
The signing of the agreement was conducted by Kulman Ghising, managing director of NEA, Jitendra Dhital, administrator of the fund, and Binod Bhandari, CEO of the company.
Emphasising the immense potential and necessity of green energy for prosperity and a clean environment in Nepal, Minister Basnet highlighted the ongoing efforts to enhance hydropower production and expand the transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Minister Basnet spoke of the ongoing efforts to enhance domestic consumption and establish a stable market for export of surplus electricity, with the objective of bolstering revenue generation.
He underscored the importance of addressing concerns related to project delays and cost overruns, as these factors can impede timely completion and hinder overall development.
“The provision of satisfactory explanations to such inquiries is vital in effectively tackling the challenges that may arise during the project’s construction phase.”
Likewise, NEA MD Ghising said that the electricity generated in Nepal is primarily utilised for domestic consumption, which guarantees a stable and dependable market for the surplus electricity to be exported.
Recognising the significant interest shown by India and Bangladesh in sourcing electricity produced in Nepal, Ghising highlighted the favourable conditions that enable Nepal to secure competitive rates for its electricity sales to these neighbouring countries.
Dhital shared that the EPF has made investments exceeding Rs 40 billion in hydropower projects, collectively accounting for an estimated capacity of 800 megawatts.
He stressed the importance of strict adherence to predetermined timelines and budgets, underscoring the significance of successful project completion as a benchmark for others to follow.
Meanwhile, Bhandari reiterated the commitment to complete the project within a four-year timeframe and highlighted the notable progress being made towards accomplishing this goal.
The Tamakoshi-V cascading project, utilising water released from the upstream Tamakoshi hydropower project with a capacity of 456 megawatts, is designed to maximise electricity generation.
This innovative approach eliminates the necessity of constructing additional structures, such as dams and reservoirs, as seen in the descender area. Consequently, Tamakoshi-V stands out as an appealing project in terms of its resource optimisation and environmental impact.
The construction of essential civil structures is underway to divert the water discharged from the upper Tamakoshi hydropower project to the commencement point of the cascading project. The remaining hydro-mechanical works are pending. The main structures of the project, including an eight-kilometre tunnel, powerhouse, and approximately two kilometres of 220 kV transmission lines, need to be constructed. The selection of construction contractors for project implementation is being carried out through a tender process.
Detailed design and environmental impact assessment (EIA) have already been approved. Approximately 133 ropanis of private land have been acquired for the project.
The project is anticipated to yield an annual electricity production of 490 million units. Upon completion of Rolwaling diversion in Upper Tamakoshi, the electricity generation from the project is projected to increase to 540 million units. The authority and the firm have successfully negotiated an agreement for purchase and sale of electricity generated by project.