Kalikot, April 1
The government has decided to build the 480-megawatt Phukot Karnali Hydroelectric Project, the only pride project of Kalikot district, under the joint investment of the Power Generation Company and Indian company NHPC Limited.
Surya Rijal, managing director of the company, said that the company has decided that 51 percent of the project will be invested by NHPC and 49 percent by the Power Generation Company.
“Our discussion has been going on for a year. The board had passed this decision earlier too. However, we couldn’t make the decision. It should be approved by the Council of Ministers as well,” he said.
According to Rijal, this decision will be implemented only after the approval of the cabinet. “We will send this decision to the Ministry of Energy by today or tomorrow. We do not know when the ministry will take it to the cabinet and when it will be approved,” he said. According to him, NHPC had proposed to invest in Phukot Karnali in December 2021 last year.
The construction of the 480-megawatt Phukot Karnali hydropower project, for which a detailed study report (DPR) has been prepared, has not yet progressed. The construction of the main structure has not been started for two years due to the inability to raise investment for the project, which is in a state of preparation and construction.
“DPR is ready. The access road has also been reached. Karnali highway is also near. Most of the land required for the project has already been acquired. The bidding document is also ready,” said the project head Hiraman Waiba, “We have also prepared the environmental impact assessment report (EIA) and sent it to the power development department. We are in ready to move situation, but we don’t have a source for that.”
If approved by the Council of Ministers, a joint venture investment agreement will be signed with NHPC. In the feasibility study, it is mentioned that the project will cost Rs 92.3 billion and can be completed within five years of the start of construction.
The 480 MW of electricity generated from here will be sold in India. The electricity of this project will be taken to India through the Karnali Corridor transmission line. The National Transmission Grid Company has signed an agreement with the Indian company Kalpatru to construct a 400 kV transmission line in the Karnali Corridor.
Lately, Indian companies have shown interest in investing in large hydropower projects in Nepal. Earlier, an agreement was also signed with the Indian company NHPC for the construction of 750 MW West Seti and 450 MW Seti River six hydropower projects.
The agreement was signed by Sushil Bhatta, CEO of the Investment Board, and AK Singh, Chairman of NHPC, on August 20, 2022. India has announced to invest of 288 billion rupees in these projects.
India has also been entrusted with the construction of 900 MW Arun-III. Arun-IV of 490 MW, and Lower Arun of 679 MW has also been entrusted by the Indian company.