Kathmandu, August 4
As per project officials, 22 per cent of the construction work of the India backed 900-megawatt Arun III hydroelectric project has been completed till date.
During a courtesy meeting with Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun today, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of SJVN Arun-III Power Development Company, Arun Dhiman, informed that the company has completed 12 per cent of physical and financial work but the overall progress stands at 22 per cent. SJVN is a subsidiary company of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, India, which has been tasked with building the project.
As per Dhiman, the company has already awarded the contract for the construction of electromechanical, hydromechanical and civil works to an Indian firm called JP Construction, which has already started executing construction work.
In the meeting, Minister Pun mentioned that the government has created an investment friendly environment in the country and expects SJVN to complete the construction works within the stipulated timeframe. “The government has managed all types of security at the project site and we hope that the project will be completed on time,” he said.
Minister Pun further assured the firm that if there is any type of problem related to construction of the project, the government will facilitate the company for its smooth construction.
The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and SJVN had inked a pact in November of 2014 for the development of Arun III hydropower project. The project was supposed to start generating energy by 2020 as per the earlier agreement. However, the IBN and SJVN reached an agreement later to complete the construction of the project by 2023.
Dhiman assured the minister that the project will be completed as per the set deadline as the company has received support from both the government and the locals and there has been no obstruction as such at the project site.
He further informed that the major works for the hydropower project such as construction of headrace tunnel, audit tunnel and powerhouse, among others has already started.
Arun III is an export-based project, which will bring the largest ever foreign direct investment (FDI) from India worth $1.2 billion. However, some of the Nepali banks have also invested in the project.
Apart from shares being allocated to the locals and free energy to the affected areas, the government will get Rs 330 billion as royalty in a period of 20 years and the project will also provide 21.9 per cent of the generated energy free of cost to the government.
The project will generate 400 million units of power every year.
The developer will hand over the ownership of the project to the government of Nepal after 20 years of commercial operation.
A version of this article appears in print on August 05, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.