It was a hectic but exciting time for Mohan Prasad Gautam, Chief Executive Officer of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd (UTHL), as he successfully concluded the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company. Attended by around 400 shareholders, the AGM approved the proposals for the coming yea
According to the regulations, the company has to hold AGM every year. The 15th AGM was postponed few more months this time. Though Gautam was appointed as CEO a little over four months ago, he presented his programs clearly and concisely before general shareholders and board members.
"The Fifteenth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited (UTHL) was successfully concluded on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 (6th Bhadra 2080). I express my sincere gratitude to the esteemed shareholders, the Board of Directors of the Company, the regulatory authorities and all the employees," writes Gautam on his social media.
This 15th AGM is very significant as UTHLwill issue 100% equity shares from September 1, 2023.
At the meeting, the Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Kulman Ghising, who is the chairman of the company, presented the report and assured the shareholders of more benefits in the coming years.
"High level efforts are being made to keep the interest rate of the company's current loans in single digit. The NEB would agree well with the PPA of the Rollwalling project," said Ghising.
He also said that the board is trying to extend the term of the generation license to reduce the annual depreciation of the project structure.
To make Upper Tamakoshi more attractive, he proposed a special proposal for capital increase through rights shares based on the report received from the sub-committee after analyzing the overall financial of the company last year.
NEA MD Ghising said that after completing the construction of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, NEA's goal is to construct the Tamakoshi Fifth Project with a capacity of 99 MW through an 8 km tunnel. He said that the opportunity to invest in the company has also been secured through the meeting of the Tamakoshi Hydropower Board of Directors.
Addressing the AGM, CEO Gautam said that he is committed to making the company more profitable and attractive to the shareholders.
He said that maintaining good governance in the company, providing necessary manpower and completing the rollwalling project within the stipulated time are his priorities now.
CEO Gautam also said that he will also initiate a high level mechanism to improve the financial situation.
He said that he will uphold the right to information and transparency and will always welcome and address the creative suggestions of the shareholders.
CEO Gautam also announced that the company will own a stake in Tamakoshi V and will study and develop new project identification.
CEO Gautam also said that the construction of Rolwaling Diversion, Rolwaling River hydropower projects will enhance the Upper Tamakoshi generation. We will complete the construction of Rolwaling River Hydropower Project according to the schedule.
At present, Upper Tamakoshi's share price is less than 500 rupees. Tamakoshi's 105.9 million shares are listed on NEPSE.
The AGM, among other things, approved the annual report of the fiscal year 2078/79. And also approved the auditor's report with PNL statements, financial reports and cash flow reports.
Progress on the Upper Tamakoshi
As long predicted, UTHL. has proven that it can benefit the country and its shareholders in the short and long term.
As Upper Tamakoshi is the backbone project to transform Nepal from an energy deficit to an energy surplus country, the company has contributed immensely to the national economy. Though this year the company had been producing marginally low electricity during the dry season due to the slow process of snow melting, it is now generating cheapest energy in full scale.
Just two years after the start of generation, UTHL has already announced to issue 1:1 (100 percent) on its current paid-up capital. As per the 257th meeting of the Board of Directors held on Ashad 30, 2079, which decided to submit a proposal for the issuance of equity shares in the ratio of 1:1 (100%) on its current paid-up capital, the 14th Annual General Meeting of the company has approved it.
The Upper Tamakoshi Plant, located east of Kathmandu, is being built with domestic funding. The national pride project was originally scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2016, but the earthquakes, India's trade blockade, and various technical and social issues pushed back the completion date.
As the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in Kathmandu last month, the proposal to issue 100 percent equity shares of the company was approved. After the rights issue, the paid-up capital will reach Rs 21.18 billion. At present, the share price of Upper Tamakoshi is less than 500 rupees. UPPER's 105.9 million shares are listed on NEPSE.
Established in March 2007, Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited is an executing agency for the implementation of the project, the majority share (51%) of the company is held by four public sector entities, namely, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Nepal Telecom (NTC), Citizen Investment Trust (CIT) and Rashtriya Beema Sansthan (RBS). NEA owns 41%, NTC owns 6%, and CIT and RBS each own 2% of the company.
Similarly, the general public and the people of Dolakha district will have 15% and 10% shares respectively. The remaining 24% shares will be held by Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors, NEA & Company employees and employees of financial institutions providing loans.
Construction started in February 2011 and the project was originally scheduled to be completed in July 2016. However, after several delays in the completion schedule, it has been completed in August 2021. On July 5, 2021, the project was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
As the company has completed the 15th AGM with new CEO Gautam, who replaced Bigyan Prasad Shrestha, a long-serving CEO, it is likely to bring changes to strengthen the company's profit and financial position.