TBI Holding for slashing capacity


    Jan 16, 2018-TBI Holding, which holds the survey licence for the Tamakoshi 3 Hydropower Project, has planned to revise downwards its installed capacity from 650 MW to 305 MW.

    The potential builder of the power station has asked the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) for permission to decrease the installed capacity. Tamakoshi 3 is a peaking-run-of-the-river type project located in Dolakha and Ramechhap districts east of Kathmandu.

    TBI Holding has said the revision is in line with the preliminary survey. “We can make the final confirmation only after the detailed project report of the hydropower plant is prepared,” said Animesh Kumar Mishra, group CEO of TBI Holding.

    The project, according to the developer, 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,” said Mishra. The DoED, which received the application from TBI Holding several weeks ago, is yet to make decision over the request.

    Although the department has indicated that it is positive about approving the developer’s proposal, it has said that it will make a decision only after receiving an official letter from the Supreme Court.

    The apex court in December quashed its earlier stay order to suspend the survey licence for the Tamakoshi 3 Hydropower Project awarded to TBI Holding by the Energy Ministry. However, the court is yet to send an official letter of its decision to the concerned parties.

    “Until we get an official letter from the court, we will consider it as an issue under its consideration,” said Nabin Raj Singh, director general of the DoED. “Therefore, we will reach a decision only after receiving the court’s order.”  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. 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.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post