The government is to move ahead the construction of three additional hydro electricity projects through the development committees.
The projects that are being constructed through the development committee model are the 335-Megawatt-capacity Upper Arun Project, the 400-Megawatt-capacity Lower Arun Project and the 245-Megawatt-capacity Naumure Project. The Budhigandaki and Nalsinghgad projects are the two projects which are being constructed under this model.
The government is forming separate development committees for forwarding the construction of these projects after a long time.
Minister for Energy Radha Gyawali said these projects are being developed under the development committee model.
Although India had declared that it would construct the Naumure Project as a present to Nepal during the official visit of former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India, the construction works on the project have not yet been started. The project site is located at Jhimruk that lies on the border between Pyuthan and Arghakhanchi districts.
The project has been in the news for 27 years. It is a multi-purpose project and would also provide irrigation facilities in Dang, Kapilbastu and Bihar of India. However, there is a dispute whether water should be provided for Irrigation to India and this has caused a delay in its construction.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has stated that the Detailed Project Report of the Naumure Project would be prepared within the current fiscal year alone. The total estimated construction cost of the project is 320 million US dollars.
Likewise, the Lower Arun Project located in Sankhuwasabha district is to be developed under the development committee model. The Bras Power, a Brazilian company had carried out a study on this project for long time, but the project has not taken off. The government is also mulling increasing the power generating capacity of this project to 600 Megawatts.
The Upper Arun Project located in Bhojpur district in east of the country is also to be developed as per the development committee model and the World Bank has shown interest to invest in this 335-Megawatt-project. Per unit cost of this project is Rs 2.74, the lowest cost so far, according to the NEA. RSS