Money

SJVN to get Arun-3 generation licence

- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Apr 27, 2018-

Investment Board Nepal (IBN) is ready to grant the generation licence for the Arun-3 Hydroelectric Project to Indian firm SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company. The 900 MW run-of-the-river scheme is located in Sankhuwasabha district in north-eastern Nepal.

IBN said SJVN would receive the permit well before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned two-day visit to Nepal which starts May 11. Modi and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will jointly lay the foundation stone for the hydropower plant remotely.

“We have completed all the preparations to award the licence to the Indian developer,” said Uttam Bhakta Wagle, joint secretary of IBN. “We will issue the licence soon.”

The foundation stone laying ceremony had been originally planned to be held in April when Prime Minister Oli visited New Delhi.

The ceremony was put off after Nepal said that preparatory work remained to be done. According to multiple sources, Nepal asked for a postponement as the generation licence for the project had not been issued.

IBN’s 29th board meeting held on March 9 decided to direct its CEO to issue the licence to the Indian developer. Subsequently, IBN published a 35-day public notice stating its intent to award the licence to the Indian firm. As there was no claim or concern against the development of the project during the 35-day period, IBN obtained the authority to issue the generation license.

SJVN applied for the generation licence for the project around one and a half

months ago. It has hired a contractor to implement the first package of the civil works that includes construction of a dam, diversion tunnel, headrace tunnel and intake tunnels.

The contractor has already mobilised a team to the dam site. The project developer is in the process of hiring contractors to build a powerhouse and transmission lines, and to execute the electro- and hydro-mechanical works.

In November 2014, IBN signed an agreement with Indian government-owned SJVN for the development of the Arun-3 Hydroelectric Project. The plant is slated to come online by 2020 as per the accord. But the deadline is unlikely to be met as the financial closure deadline has been pushed back twice by one year and six months respectively. The project has completed major tasks like acquisition of private land and is in the process of acquiring public forest land.

According to IBN, Nepal will receive Rs348 billion over 25 years from the scheme. The project developer will also provide 21.9 percent of the energy free of cost, which is worth Rs155 billion, plus another Rs107 billion in royalties.

Published: 27-04-2018 08:24

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