Arun III project: Sutlej pays Rs 0.2bn to govt

Kathmandu, July 17:

Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam today paid Rs 225 million to the government, giving rise to hope that 402-MW Arun III Hydropower Project would be commissioned.

While signing an agreement with SJVN in February, the government had sought the company to pay Rs 225 million, stating that the cost was incurred while conducting a survey of the project site. Earlier, the SJVN paid Rs 41.2 million to the government to acquire survey licence and as performance guarantee.

SJVN has agreed to offer the government 21.9 per cent of free energy (88MW) to Nepal. According to an estimate, the project is going to cost $1 billion.

The World Bank had agreed to commission Arun III project in early 90’s. As water rights activists protested against the project, the WB pulled out of the project.