Upper Trishuli 3A Project: Contractor seeks extension of completion deadline

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    KATHMANDU, JUN 25 –

    Diversion Weir construction at right bank of Headworks
    Diversion Weir construction at right bank of Headworks

    Ten days after the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) asked the Upper Trishuli 3A Project to complete construction within the set deadline, its contractor, China Gezhouba Group Co, has sought additional time for the completion of the 60MW project.

    The contractor made such a proposal during a tripartite meeting between the NEA, project consultant Northwest Hydro Consulting Engineers and China Gezhouba on Monday. China Gezhouba Project Manager Wang Ziyang, however, did not mention how much time it needed.

    At the meeting, the Chinese contractor pledged to present a detailed work plan to the NEA mentioning the date by which project would be completed after consultations with the project consultant. “The China Gezhouba project manager asked for additional time committing to complete the project by then,” said NEA Managing Director Rameshwor Yadav. “Gezhouba, however, did not mention how much additional time it needed.”

    The project is already behind the schedule, with only 22 percent work completed. After scrapping the project’s capacity upgradation decision, the NEA on June 14 had directed the project to ensure its completion within the deadline — May 2014 — and to furnish a detailed work schedule.

    This is not the first time that China Gezhouba has asked for an extension of the deadline. It had been pressing the NEA for the revision of the deadline to February, 2016, claiming it could not initiate construction due to NEA’s delay in handing over the project site. It had also been lobbying for the capacity upgradation of the project.

    Project Director Gopal Babu Bhattarai said there had been some delay in handing over the project site in the beginning.

    Yadav said NEA will take a final decision on China Gezhouba’s request for deadline extension after holding talks with the project consultant and analysing various other factors. “We may provide additional time only for the period of the delay caused by the government or the NEA,” he said.

    During the meeting, China Gezhouba’s Wang asked the NEA to take a final decision on its compensations claims. The Chinese company has been seeking Rs 7 billion in compensation for the delay in handing over the project site and obstruction by locals.

    However, Bhattarai said the project consultant has already termed the compensation claim “invalid”, and that the government is not liable to fulfil the demand. “Even if the contractor is not happy with the consultant’s decision, it should approach the dispute settlement committee as per the contractual norms,” he said.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post