KATHMANDU: National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) to conduct detailed studies and develop 750 MW West Seti and 450 MW Seti River 450 hydropower projects in Sudurpaschim Province.
The MoU was inked by Sushil Bhatta, Chief Executive Officer of IBN, and AK Singh, Chairman of NHPC on Thursday in Kathmandu. As per the MoU, the NHPC will have to apply within 45 days from the days of signing to get the study permit for the West Seti project and within the next 6 months for Seti River-6. NHPC will have to prepare detailed study reports of both projects and submit them to the IBN within two years from the date of issuance of permits. HHPC can construct these projects as reservoirs, semi-reservoirs, or jointly or separately. Additionally, it is mentioned in the MoU that the IBN will facilitate negotiations between the two parties for the Project Development Agreement (PDA).
Addressing the program, Prime Minister Deuba assured the developer company of all-out support from all stakeholders during the development of the studies and development of projects.‘ West Seti and SR-6 projects are among the national pride projects. All stakeholders including the government are ready to extend any support to ensure timely completion of the projects,’ Dueba said. Deuba also said all Nepalis will benefit from the projects directly or indirectly. The IBN had decided to allow an Indian company to build these two hydropower projects. NHPC will advance West Seti and Seti River-6 as the Joint West Seti project and provide 21.9 percent of the total connected capacity (1200 MW) to Nepal for free.
In line with the MoU, the Indian company must complete its detailed study by June 2081. A detailed construction action plan will be prepared only after the study is completed. The 52nd meeting of the Board of Investment has already decided to issue a survey permit within 45 days to West Seti and within 6 months to Seti River-6 (SR Six) project. The cost of the joint West Seti project is estimated to be more than Rs 200 billion. Since the cost was estimated a few years ago, the cost of the project is expected to increase.
A preliminary study by the Investment Board has shown that if these two projects are completed and put into operation, they will contribute Rs 167 billion in royalties and taxes to Nepal’s economy. About 5000 people will get employment opportunities directly and indirectly during the peak construction phase of this project, which will be completed within 8 years after the start of work.
On the occasion, Minister for Finance Janardan Sharma, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supply Dilendra Prasad Badu, Minister for Forests and Environment Pradeep Yadav, Chief Minister of Sudurpaschim Province Trilochan Bhatt and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava were also present.