Upper Tamakoshi hydro readying to issue shares


    Mar 1, 2018-The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has been making preparations to issue 25 percent of its shares to project affected locals and the general public.

    The 456 MW hydropower project, being developed by state-owned power utility Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in Dolakha, has set aside 10 percent of the shares for project affected locals in the district and 15 percent for the general public.

    As per the project’s allotment plan, 10.59 million ordinary shares worth Rs1.05 billion will be offered to Dolakha locals. Likewise, the general public can apply for 15.88 million ordinary shares worth Rs1.58 billion.

    The hydropower project is planning to IPO within three weeks. It had applied at the Securities Board of Nepal (Sebon), the regulator of the securities market, last January for approval to issue shares to project affected locals and the general public.

    On February 6, Sebon sent back the application asking it to submit its audited balance sheet. “Once we get the application with the audited balance sheet, we will take only a few days to approve the public issue,” said Niraj Giri, executive director of Sebon.

    Upper Tamakoshi officials said they would be resubmitting the application within a week. “We will resubmit the application with the additional documents to Sebon within a week,” said Ganesh Raj Neupane, spokesperson for the project. “After we get the board’s go-ahead, our issue manager will float the shares within a couple of weeks.”

    Project affected locals have to apply for a minimum of 30 shares while the maximum has been fixed at 300 shares. The minimum number of shares for the general public has been fixed at 10 units. There is no upper limit for them.

    The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has been identified as a strategic scheme as it is expected to end the country’s power woes.

    The power plant’s first unit is slated to start generating electricity by December while the remaining five units are expected to come online by April 2019.

    Around 94 percent of the construction has been completed, but work has slowed to a crawl. Project officials blame the poor state of the road linking the project site in Dolakha for the sluggish progress.

    The condition of the 60-km road from Khadichaur to Charikot, Dolakha is very poor, and the project office is facing difficulties transporting heavy electromechanical equipment that need to be installed at the hydropower plant.

    The Upper Tamakoshi project, located east of Kathmandu, is being built using domestic financial resources. The national pride project was originally scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2016, but the earthquakes, Indian trade blockade and various technical and social issues pushed back the completion date.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post