IBN likely to oversee implementation of monorail project

Kathmandu, January 25

If things go according to plan, the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) will soon be authorised to oversee implementation of monorail project in Kathmandu Valley.

This issued was discussed during yesterday’s board meeting of the Investment Board Nepal held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The meeting decided to raise the issue in the Cabinet so that authority could be delegated to the IBN Office, says a statement issued today by the IBN.

The meeting also decided to form a high-level committee to simplify the process of swapping land required for development projects, and conducting supplementary environmental tests and environmental impact assessments. Based on the recommendations laid by the committee, the IBN will table a proposal in the Cabinet, soliciting necessary policy changes, says the statement.

The meeting also decided to forward a proposal on extension of shares to locals of the area affected by 900MW Upper Karnali Hydroelectric Project to the Cabinet. The proposal will be forwarded via the Ministry of Energy (MoE).

The meeting also directed MoE and Office of IBN to explain reasons behind delay in signing of Joint Development Agreement on 750MW West Seti Hydroelectric Project between Nepal Electricity Authority and China Three Gorges. Delay in signing of the agreement has stalled the process of establishing a joint venture company to formally implement the project.

The IBN board has also directed the two entities to give an update on the West Seti project.

Also, yesterday’s meeting directed IBN Office to recommend an appropriate model for implementation of 650MW Tamakoshi-3 Hydroelectric Project within three months.

Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, had recently announced its decision to pull out of the project, identifying lack of viable power purchase option, lower electricity price forecast, insufficient transmission capacity and absence of necessary regulatory framework to implement Nepal-India power trade deal as deterrents.

The meeting also decided to issue a deadline of three months to The Gorkha’s UK Ltd to submit a detailed project report on harnessing wind energy to generate up to 3,000 MW of electricity.

The company had earlier sought IBN’s permission to set up windmills in the country to generate electricity at commercial level.

The IBN’s board meeting held yesterday also directed the IBN Office to conduct study on possibility of awarding wind energy contracts through competitive bidding.