Unmanageable hydropower projects under scanner

Department of Electricity Development (DOED)

Sep 16, 2018-The Department of Electricity Development (DoED) has sought clarification from three dozen hydropower projects that are not on the track to meet their respective construction deadlines or have failed to make timely reports of their work progress to the department as required by the law.

The DoED has dispatched a letter to the errant projects with physical progress not exceeding 20 percent despite getting generation licence from the department more than three years ago. The department sent letters to the companies two weeks ago.

These hydropower projects have also failed to make timely reports to the department regarding their physical progress, according to the DoED. As per the Electricity Regulation, a hydropower project should start construction within a year after it receives a generation licence from the department and should submit a progress report every six months.

“We have asked the projects to report their current status and to state the reasons behind the slow construction,” said Nabin Raj Singh, director general of the DoED. “We have received statements from some of the projects. Once we get an answer from all of the projects, we will prepare a report and decide how to move forward.”

 

If the developers fail to present satisfactory reasons behind the delay in construction, they will face stern action, according to the department.

The 36 hydropower projects includes 40MW Rahughat, 52.4MW Likhu-4, 37.6MW Kabeli-A, 12MW Upper Khimti, 14.3MW Upper Mailung Khola, 30MW Nyadi Khola, 37MW Upper Trishuli 3B, 30MW Khani Khola, 49.6MW Super Dordi Kha, 82MW Lower Solu, 20MW Upper Myagdi, 24.1MW Khare Khola, 86MW Solu Khola, 25MW Darbang Myagdi Khola and 42MW Upper Modi A among others.

The Rahugaht and Upper Modi A are being developed by Nepal Electricity Authority, the state-owned power utility while the rest of the projects are being developed by privately owned companies.

The DoED had awarded the generation licence to these projects before mid-August 2015 but they have not performed satisfactorily.

While a few projects have completed 20 percent of the construction work, most of the projects have completed only a fraction so far.

The department initiated this action against the aforementioned projects, after receiving direction from the Minister of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun.

The DoED has been asked to take stern action against the developers such as terminating their generation licence, according to Roshan Khadga, press advisor of Minister Pun.

“If the developers are facing genuine problems, the ministry will help them to expedite the construction by addressing the bottle necks,” said Khadka.

“However, those developers that are just holding the licence for trading purposes without developing the project will be penalised.”

Source: The Kathmandu Post