HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A government-formed committee to prepare a work plan for West-Seti hydro project has recently submitted its report to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The report has recommended that a deal be signed with the Chinese firm, which has already inked a memorandum of understanding with the government to construct the project, within October of this year.
The government had formed the committee, under Investment Board chief executive officer Radhesh Pant, to prepare a work plan for the 750 MW project after receiving directives from the Parliamentary committee on Natural Resources and Means.
The House committee had said that the Investment Bord, not the Energy Ministry, should be at the fore front of the project. “We have said that the project should be expedited from the point where the Energy Ministry stopped and recommendations from the parliamentary committee should be taken into consideration,” said Pant.
The Energy Ministry had signed an MoU with China Three Gorges International to construct the hydro project. The agreement, however, stirred controversy after the parliamentary committee said there were flaws in the MoU.
The parliamentary committee mentioned that the Investment Board should be responsible for projects with installed capacity of over 500 MW capacity, as per the Investment Board Act.
“We held informal talks with China Three Gorges and they are positive. As we have no problem moving into implementation of the project, we hope to have formal talks very soon,” added Pant added. Officials at the PM office confirmed the report has been received.
“We have been closely working with the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister’s Office. Everyone is committed to start project as soon as possible,” said the CEO.
West Seti, which is going to be the largest project of its kind in the country, is expected to be completed by 2020. The licence of the project was scrapped a few months ago after the Australian firm, SMEC, failed to arrange funds sixteen years after receiving a permit.