India proposes to construct Lower Arun Hydro Project

NEW DELHI: The Government of India has proposed the construction of Lower Arun Hydropower Project with a capacity of 400 Megawatts (MWs).

In a meeting with Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun at New Delhi on Monday, Indian Minister of State for Power, Raj Kumar Singh put forth a proposal that the new project can be developed adopting the same model of 900-MW Arun III Project.

"A proposal has been made from the Indian side to develop Lower Arun on the same model adopted by the Indian company while constructing Arun III. Nepal has put its stance for further discussion observing the progress in the construction of Arun III," Minister Pun said.

Minister Pun arrived in the Indian capital city, New Delhi, to participate in the International Sustainable Development Conference that started from Monday.

The Energy Minister had previously scrapped the licence for the construction of Lower Arun Project from the Brazilian company "Brass Power" as per the directive from the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA). The company did not make any progress on the project during the 15-year duration after the licence was awarded to them.

The project investment is estimated to be over Rs 100 billion. According to Minister Pun, the project would be of around 1,000 MW capacity if it is designed in a way to export power to India.

The Department of Electricity Development is carrying out the project feasibility and detailed study. Meanwhile, India has put forth the proposal to build Lower Arun by keeping all conditions stipulated in Arun III.