Rs 1.25 b for Lower Modi hydel project

KATHMANDU: Eight banks and financial institutions today agreed to provide Rs 1.25 billion for the construction of the 10-MW Lower Modi hydropower project at Modikhola of Parbat district. The banks -- Citizen Bank International, NIC Bank, Global Bank, Kist Bank, Clean Energy Development Bank, Nepal Development and Employment Promotion Bank, Vibor Bank and Nepal Share Market and Finance- signed an agreement to this effect.

According to BN Gharti, assistant general manager of Kist Bank Ltd, the eight financial institutions have disbursed Rs 1.25 billion as a loan whereas the total project cost is about Rs 1.64 billion. "We have allocated the loan as it seems reasonable in the project," Gharti added.

According to him, they decided to invest as the project was economically feasible.

The project is decided to issue shares equivalent to Rs 1.5 million for the local residents living in the adjoining areas of the project site, said Mahendra Bahadur Karki, chief executive officer of the project. "We don't ignore voices of the location," he said, "We'll give shares as much as they can buy."

Once completed, the project will generate 61 giga watt electricity per hour. The project has signed power purchase agreement with Nepal Electricity Authority on February 20.

"We will complete the civil engineering works within 22 months, said Karki. "We will issue shares in such a way that the local residents will get sufficient shares," Karki said. The company, however, declined to mention the exact amount of shares.