KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The government has finally cleared the way to tailor individual project development agreements (PDA) with three international power developers for developing four mega hydropower projects with collective generation capacity of 3,050 megawatts.
A meeting of the board of directors (BoD) of the Nepal Investment Board (NIB) took such a decision on Wednesday and delegated authority to the NIB secretariat to form a negotiation team to discuss the projects with the developers, namely GMR Energy, Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam and SN Power.
The Sutlej, Indian state-owned developer is engaged in development of the 900 MW Arun III; GMR, another Indian company, is engaged in two projects namely, 900 MW Upper Karnali and 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi, while SN Power, a Norwegian firm, is developing 650 MW Tamakoshi Hydropower Project.
"The negotiation with the developers will go on fast track once the NIB secretariat forms a team to tailor PDAs for each of the projects," Radesh Pant, chief executive officer of the NIB told Republica. "The government has also formed a three-member coordination committee to oversee the negotiation of the secretariat with the developers." Dipendra Bahadur Kshetry, vice chairperson of the National Planning Commission (NPC) and Leela Mani Paudel, chief secretary, and Pant are in the committee.
According to Pant, the PDA negotiations with each developer will be expedited on the basis of the PDA template developed by the NIB. "NIB has even appointed Lahmeyer International, an engineering firm, to review the four projects," reads a release issued after the meeting. The World Bank has provided assistance to the NIB to hire Lahmeyer International.
However, the NIB has been facing resistance from the Ministry of Energy (MoE) which is openly opposed to the government´s handing over of the four mega projects to NIB. MoE had a few days ago written to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Minister (OPMCM) requesting the government to rethink its move saying NIB lacks necessary manpower and expertise to hand such projects.
Additionally, the meeting of the BoD has given a go ahead to the NIB secretariat to carry out work on the detailed project report (DPR) of the Kathmandu Metro Railway (KMR). After getting clearance from the BoD, NIB will soon finalize terms of reference with Nepal Metro Private Limited (NMPL) to expedite the DPR preparation work for the metro railway.
The Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management (MoPPWTM) had conducted the feasibility study of the project by outsourcing some domestic and South Korean firms.
The NIB that came into existence more than a year ago to facilitate the implementation of mega projects on fast track mode has also got a nod from the BoD to conduct feasibility study of the chemical fertilizer plant. "The NIB has sought financial support from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to conduct feasibility study for the plant," an official told Republica. 0