Uncertainty mars West Seti project

Kathmandu, December 23:

Denial on the part of the main promoter of the 750 MW West Seti Hydro Electricity Project to provide 10 per cent electricity free of charge has pushed the project into uncertainty.

The Ministry of Water Resources had recently formed a committee to redo the deal after the promoter of the project Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC) recently refused to provide 75 MW of electricity from its project in the far west river of Seti. “We are forming a committee in the ministry to again discuss with the company,” said Anup Upadhyaya, a joint-secretary at the ministry.

Earlier, the promoters were open to give Nepal either 75 MW of electricity or equivalent cash, but following the political changes, Nepal once sought cash but later, in July, the Parliamentary Committee for Natural Resources ordered the government to accept only electricity.

However, the officials of the West Seti Hydro Electricity Company here said that they do not know about the correspondence between the government and SMEC. The officials added that it would be difficult for the government to change its earlier agreement, which has stated that Nepal would accept the royalty in cash.

The $1.12 billion project was scheduled to begin its construction by November this year. The generated electricity was supposed to be exported to India.