NEA laying grounds to sign PPA with super-six projects
BHOJ RAJ POUDEL
KATHMANDU, Feb 28: Amid complaints from developers and the government, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said it is preparing grounds for signing power purchase agreement (PPA) with “super six” hydropower projects.
“We are working to identify ways to develop transmission lines for these projects,” Chief Secretary Lila Mani Paudel, who also chairs the board of directors of NEA, told Republica on Wednesday.
The six projects, including 16 megawatts Singiti, 24.1 megawatts Khare, 23.5 megawatts Upper Solu, 82 megawatts Lower Solu, 14.9 megawatts Maya Khola and 50 megawatts Mewa, are awaiting PPA though they are all set to start construction.
“We are trying to build transmission lines for the projects before signing the PPA as it would be difficult for government to compensate the developers if NEA fails to lay transmission lines by the time the projects are completed,” Paudel said.
The government had pledged to develop transmission lines while awarding the projects to the developers. The developers had paid a total of Rs 450 million as license fees to the government.
The Ministry of Energy (MoE) has been pressing the NEA to sign PPA with these projects. “We are consistently pursuing NEA to sign PPA with the project developers,” an official at the Ministry said.
“We will soon communicate with the developers for signing the PPA,” Paudel said. “But the PPA would be signed only after finalizing the issue of transmission lines for these projects."
The developers of these projects had completed detailed project report (DPR) around one-and-a-half years ago. Four of the projects were supposed to be completed by 2014 and the remaining two by 2015.
According to the Department of Electricity Development (DoED), the government had provided power generation licenses to the developers of these projects around three years ago. “PPA would be signed with these projects once NEA would finalize the issue of laying transmission lines,” Poudel said.