Norways envoy hands over mini hydel project to Khimti locals

KATHMANDU: The Norwegian ambassador to Nepal, Thor Gislesen, handed over a 635-kw mini hydropower plant, transmission and distribution system and other assets to the Khimti Rural Electric Cooperative (KREC) for Kirnetar people in Dolakha district today.

The cooperative was established in 2004 by Himal Power Ltd (HPL) during the implementation of its rural electrification and development projects ‘Jhankre Rural Electrification and Development Project’ (JREDP and JREDP II).

Tom E Solberg, general manager of Himal Power Ltd, congratulated the KREC board and management on the occasion and said that the management of Khimti Rural Electric Cooperative has the motivation, capacity and feeling of ownership to manage the electricity generation and maintain its assets in an efficient and sustainable manner. The cooperative currently provides electricity to 4,600 households and a further 3,800 households will be connected after the ongoing KiND project is complete. One more mini hydro power plant is being constructed, taking the total capacity of the cooperative to just above 1 MW.

HPL is the owner of the Khimti I Hydropower Project — so far the largest private sector power project and the first “Build, Own, Operate, Transfer” (BOOT) model in Nepal.

Khimti Rural Electric Cooperative is the first fully independent, democratically operated and locally managed rural electric cooperative in the country. It serves as an example for other power projects in Nepal. KREC is providing better lighting for children’s study, better health care, improved living conditions, establishing of small industry and enterprises and access to modern communications. These benefits will reach over 40,000 people in the vicinity of the Khimti 1 project area.

HPL said it would like to thank the Government of Norway for its continuous support in bringing electricity and development to the rural population in Nepal.