A high-level meeting chaired by Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has recommended that issues related to the entry route of the 900 MW Arun III Hydropower Project, the country's biggest, being constructed by an Indian company should be addressed to ensure its timely completion.
It is a 900 MW run-of-the-river hydropower project on the Arun River under construction by SJVN Arun-III Power Development Company (SAPDC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN).
SJVN is a joint venture between the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.
The Arun-III hydroelectric power plant in Sankhuwasabha district will be the biggest hydroelectric facility in the Himalayan country.
Nepal will receive 21.9 per cent of the electricity generated at the power plant as free power during the initial 25 years of commercial operations and then the plant will be transferred to the Nepal government.
The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) which facilitates public-private partnership and private investments, particularly foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nepal, in its 56th meeting "has decided to take the problem relating to the entry route of Arun III Hydropower Project to the council of ministers”, a statement issued by the agency said.
This project, with 66.3 per cent physical progress, is being developed at a cost of Rs 144 billion.
During the meeting, IBN Chief Executive Sushil Bhatta provided an overview of the board's activities.
Prachanda underscored the need for agile and coordinated efforts by relevant agencies to ensure the timely completion of the Arun III project as any delay could negatively impact foreign investment, the statement said.
The project could not move forward in its works for the past few months due to the dispute relating to providing compensation to the local people for their land used for constructing the road section.
Other key attendees included Minister for Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Supply Ramesh Rijal, and Minister for Forest and Environment Birendra Prasad Mahato, among others.
Meanwhile, the construction of the 400 kV Inaruwa substation of Bhokraha Narsingh Rural Municipality-4 of Sunsari has been completed.
The second largest automatic 400 kV substation in Nepal based on a gas-insulated system (GIS) was completed and charged on Monday, according to Nepal Electricity Authority sources.
For east-west electricity supply and electricity trade with India, Dhalkebar is the first automatic substation in the country and Inaruwa is the second largest substation with GIS technology.
According to the Managing Director of NEA Kul Man Ghising, the Inaruwa substation is the backbone for the transmission of electricity generated by hydropower projects in various districts of Koshi province for local consumption and export to India.