Nepal | September 21, 2020

Apex court rules in favour of TBI Holdings

Says MoE can award licence of above 500MW hydro projects through bilateral negotiations

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, December 26

Amidst the dispute between Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and the Ministry of Energy (MoE) on who has the jurisdiction to deal with hydropower projects of above 500 megawatts, the Supreme Court has issued a verdict in favour of TBI Holdings, which had obtained the survey licence of 650MW Tamakoshi III project through bilateral negotiations with MoE in October.

The division bench of Judges Purushottam Bhandari and Bam Kumar Shrestha of the Supreme Court has ruled on the writ petition filed by an advocate Khadga Bahadur Budhathoki on Sunday. The verdict says that the MoE can award projects through bilateral negotiations as per the prevailing laws.

Budhathoki had filed a writ petition on November 7 seeking an interim order on the MoE’s decision. The petitioner had named the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy, Department of Electricity Development and TBI Holdings as defendants.

The IBN and MoE, which are both government authorities, were locked in dispute regarding the jurisdiction issue.
Following the MoE’s decision to award the licence of Tamakoshi III, the IBN had shown dissatisfaction stating that the Investment Board Act, 2010 clearly defines the role of IBN in dealing with projects with capacity of 500 megawatts and above. However, the MoE had said that it had awarded the project to domestic investor — TBI Holdings — on the ground of section (35) of the Electricity Act, 1992. As per a provision in the law, MoE can award the project to a credible party through bilateral negotiations.

Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, spokesperson for MoE, refused to comment on the matter citing that they had not received the full text of the verdict. However, he said that there is no issue of breaching the jurisdiction of each other as IBN and MoE are both government authorities and MoE has not awarded projects that IBN has been overseeing.

Citing that the Investment Board Act is not a substitute of the Electricity Act, he further said that MoE has the right to issue licence for all strategic projects, including transmission lines.

Other projects of above 500 megawatts capacity awarded by the MoE can move ahead based on this verdict on the Tamakoshi III case.

However, IBN officials have said that awarding projects through bilateral negotiations is not a transparent way and
the government has established a separate institution to deal with mega hydropower projects and Tamakoshi III is a project that has been listed by IBN in their project bank and has been showcased to attract foreign investment. On the other hand, IBN follows the transparent practice of competitive bidding.

The Norwegian company Statkraft (previously SN Power) had already surveyed the project and the IBN was negotiating for project development agreement (PDA) talks with Statkraft. However, Statkraft had pulled out from Tamakoshi III in January 2016 following the devastating earthquakes that badly hit the project area.


A version of this article appears in print on December 27, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Photo Gallery: Rohingya refugees receive relief in Kapan amid COVID-19 crisis

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 21 Hiteri Foundation provided food relief packages to long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim refugees here in Kapan on Sunday, September 20. More than 175 families are taking shelter in Kapan after entering Nepal following a mass exodus from their native Myanamar. Also seen in pi Read More...

Nepali Army soldier Nepal’s first security person to die of COVID-19

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 20 Country witnessed the first death of a security person due to COVID-19. The deceased, a 34-year-old soldier of Nepali Army was posted in Kathmandu. He hailed from Ramechhap district. However, Nepali Army has not yet revealed the identity of the deceased. The deceased wa Read More...

Mane double eases Liverpool to 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea

LONDON: Two goals from Sadio Mane just after halftime eased champions Liverpool to a 2-0 win over 10-man Chelsea in the Premier League season's first heavyweight clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. A dull game never threatened to live up to the eight-goal thriller when the sides met in Read More...

Son and Kane combination leads Spurs rout of Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON: Son Heung-min scored four goals set up by Harry Kane as Tottenham Hotspur came from a goal down to overwhelm Southampton 5-2 on Sunday and earn their first Premier League win of the season. In an action-packed first half at St Mary's, both sides had a goal ruled out by VAR before Read More...

Women, children highly affected by COVID pandemic

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 20 The National Women Commission today organised a webinar on ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Women and Initiatives Taken by NWC and Nepal Police in Addressing Gender Based Violence Issues’ to highlight impact of pandemic on women and children across the country. According to t Read More...

Thapa vows to establish RPP as strong force

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 20 Chairperson of Rastriya Prajatantra Party Kamal Thapa today pledged to establish the party as a strong force. The country would become prosperous and sovereign only by pursuing the ideology RPP as Nepal is faced with complex geo-political situation, he claimed at a virt Read More...

NCP Secretariat dwells on Cabinet reshuffle

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 20 The Secretariat of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) today began discussion on Cabinet reshuffle. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the meeting discussed policy issues regarding the Cabinet reshuffle from different angles, but it did not take a decision o Read More...

Ministry of Urban Development

Bancharedanda landfill site to be completed by mid-October

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 20 State Minister of Urban Development Rambir Manandhar said construction of a sanitary landfill site at Bancharedanda on the border of Nuwakot and Dhading districts will be completed by mid-October. During monitoring of the under-construction landfill site today, State Mi Read More...