KATHMANDU: Nepal is likely to get 262.8 MW of free electricity from the 1200 MW West Seti joint reservoir project which is going to be developed by the National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) of India.
“We have asked the company to provide 21.9 percent free electricity to the Nepal government. The company has taken our proposal positively,” said Sagar Raj Gautam, Senior Divisional Engineer at Investment Board Nepal (IBN). The feasibility study will be conducted by the company for the Joint project (West Seti 750 MW plus Seti River 6 (SR-6) project, which is being facilitated by the IBN. As risk is very high in the construction of reservoir projects, the government should arrange a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to make them economically feasible. Gautam, who is also a member of the negotiating team, however, said the offer has not yet been finalized.
“NHPC is going to offer 21.9 percent of free energy like in the 900 MW Arun -3 Hydroelectric Project, even though it is a reservoir project which involves greater risk. However, the final decision by the company in this regard is yet to be made,” said Gautam. The 52nd meeting of the IBN has already decided to give survey permits to the West Seti Project within 45 days and the Seti River-6 (SR Six) Project within 6 months. The cost of the joint West Seti project is estimated at Rs 203 billion as per cost estimation a few years back. The cost of West Seti is estimated at Rs 132 billion while the cost of Seti River-6 is Rs 69 billion. Out of this, Rs 27 billion is estimated for land acquisition and rehabilitation of the West Seti Project and Rs 1.7 billion for the same purposes in the Seti River-6 Project.