Kathmandu, May 20
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) – the country’s only power utility – has asked the concerned officials to complete the construction of the transmission line and sub-station of the Solu Corridor within the given deadline. NEA has directed the management officials of the project, contractor, and the consulting company to complete the project within 2019.
Mohan Energy Corporation Pvt Ltd, India, has been assigned the responsibility of constructing the transmission line and the sub-station.
A team comprising NEA Managing Director Kul Man Ghising and other high-level NEA officials had inspected the under-construction 132 kV transmission line that is 90 km long and the 132/33/11 kVA sub-station in Tingla of Solukhubmu district from Friday till today.
Ghising has said that the delay in constructing the transmission line and sub-station in the Solu Corridor will result in huge losses for the government. A few days back, Barsha Man Pun, minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, had directed NEA to resolve the problems of Solu Corridor as soon as possible.
NEA MD Ghising informed that contractors who fail to complete the construction of transmission lines as scheduled must pay a penalty to the NEA as the delay will cause a huge loss for the government. He also assured the concerned officials of the Solu Corridor project that he would help resolve the problem of land acquisition and forest clearance along the planned route of the transmission line after holding consultations with Minister Pun.
“We will monitor the construction activities regularly and if the project is not completed on time then the project chief and the contractor will be solely responsible for it and will have to compensate the government,” Ghising stated. Ghising made this decision after it became apparent that the contractors hired for the construction of the Solu Corridor transmission line were unlikely to meet the deadline.
If the contractor of the Solu Corridor project fails to complete its works by 2019, then the electricity produced from hydel projects in that area cannot be utilised properly and moreover NEA will have to pay a penalty to project promoters in this case, as per Ghising.
According to Ghising, if the project is delayed then NEA will make the contractor pay the penalty to NEA, which in turn will be paid to the promoters of the hydel projects being constructed in the region. According to the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the NEA has to pay the cost of 45 per cent of the total electricity generated as penalty to the promoters if the transmission line and sub-station are not completed on time.
The Solu Corridor project is being constructed with investment from the government of Nepal, NEA and a soft loan obtained from the Indian ExIm Bank. Various hydel projects with total installed capacity of 217.5 megawatts are being constructed in the region.
A version of this article appears in print on May 21, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.