Kathmandu: India's Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited has received a permission to develop a second hydropower project in Nepal.
Currently, India's state-owned company is developing a 900-mw Arun -III hydroelectric project which is going to complete the construction work by 2024.
Now, the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) on Sunday approved the project development agreement (PDA) draft to be signed with India's state-owned SJVN to develop the 669-megawatt (MW) Lower Arun Hydropower project in eastern Nepal which is based on the same river. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, chaired the meeting.
The draft is due for approval by the Cabinet.
SJVN--Arun-III Power Development Company (SAPDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of India's Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), is developing the project on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. SVJN is a joint-venture between the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.
SAPDC will operate the facility for a period of 25 years, excluding the construction period of five years, before transferring the ownership to the Nepal government.
Nepal will receive 21.9 per cent of the electricity generated at the power plant as free power during these initial 25 years of commercial operations.
The development of giving second project to SJVan comes days before Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India from May 31 to June 3.
The 54th board meeting of the IBN chaired by Dahal approved the draft on Sunday, said a press statement issued by the IBN.
On April 14, the 53rd meeting of the IBN approved an investment worth Rs 92.68 billion proposed by SJVN, to develop the project.
The project is located in the Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts. The Lower Arun project will not have any reservoir or dam and will be a tailrace development of Arun-III, which will mean water re-enters the river for the Lower Arun project.
This is the third project undertaken, all through negotiation windows, on the Arun River after the 900 MW Arun-III and 695 MW Arun-IV hydroelectricity projects.
The three projects will generate nearly 2,300 MW of electricity from the river in Sankhuwasabha district.
The $1.3 billion project, the single biggest foreign investment project, as per the 2017 cost estimates, is located in Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts.
This is the second mega project undertaken by the southern neighbour after the $1.04 billion 900-MW Arun-3 hydroelectric project in the Arun river.—IANS