Agreement for refuse fuel plant delayed by 4 months

KATHMANDU: The signing of an agreement with the private sector for the much-touted refuse-derived fuel plant for the Kathmandu Valley has been postponed for three more months.

The extended tenure of the High-Level Committee on Waste Management (HLCWM) will end on mid-April.

In its bid to solve the festering garbage problems, the government has accorded waste management a top priority in the current fiscal by allocating budget to set up the proposed garbage fuel plant.

The seven-member HLCWM, comprising five government secretaries, was formed on August 30 to look into the issue by December last year. The tenure was later extended by mid-April.

"We need a total of three to six months to ink the deal with the private sector to set up the plant based on BOT (Build Operate and Transfer) policy," said Dr Dinesh Chandra Devkota, coordinator, HLCWM and a member of the National Planning Commission.

"The HLCWM tenure will be extended again if need be," he added.

Eleven firms and companies, mostly joint ventures, have been shortlisted on the basis of a set criteria, which included sound financial status, technical capability and experience to establish the plant, according to the Solid Waste Management and Resource Mobilisation Centre (SWMRMC). The names of the shortlisted companies, which scored at least 60 points, were published a week ago. They included Nepali, Indian and other joint ventures.

"The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the final bidding process will be called within a week," said Devkota. "The RFP submission period will be given 45-60 days. After RFP submission, evaluation process will take about one month," he said. Among the final bidders, the best three finalists will be selected for designing the plant and undertaking a survey. "Out of them, the best one will be chosen," said Devkota.

The plant will come into operation in two years, he added.