Kathmandu, March 22
SAARC Development Fund has activated its Infrastructure Window by approving two important infrastructure projects in the energy sector in this region.
Sunil Motiwal, chief executive officer of SDF, provided details of the projects approved in principle during the SDF Board of Directors meeting held from March 18 to March 19 in Thimphu, Bhutan. Motiwal informed that SDF Board had in-principle approved one waste-to-energy project in Sri Lanka and another hydropower project in Nepal under its Infrastructure Window.
According to a report released by the Thimpu-based SDF, the hydropower project in Nepal is of a 900 MW installed capacity to be developed on run-off-river scheme. The project will harness abundant availability of water in Nepal for electricity generation. The electricity generated out of the project is proposed to be supplied to the grids in Nepal, Bangladesh and India and will provide energy connectivity to three SAARC member states — Nepal, Bangladesh and India.
The project is poised to address critical issue of power demand, especially in the summer months in the region. The project is estimated to cost more than USD 1.4 billion with SDF credit exposure up to USD 15 million. The project is being developed by an energy company of India. The project will achieve the development goals by meeting the energy demands of the region, creating opportunities for employment and economic growth in Nepal, SDF said.
Motiwal expressed confidence that the projects would help SDF achieve its development goals in the region and promote welfare and prosperity of the people in the SAARC region. He emphasised that SDF shall work tirelessly to achieve its mandate of promoting the welfare of the people, improving their quality of life and accelerating economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in the SAARC region. He also informed that SDF was currently considering some bankable cross-border regional connectivity projects in renewable energy, transport, telecom and information technology and communication under the Economic and Infrastructure Windows of SDF.
SDF was established by the Heads of the eight SAARC member states in 2010 with the aim of promoting the welfare of the people of SAARC region, improving their quality of life, and accelerating economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in the region. The fund serves as the umbrella financial institution for SAARC projects and programmes.
A version of this article appears in print on March 23, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.