Kathmandu, Nov 3: Process for the construction of Upper Arun hydropower project is to be forwarded. The project site is located at Bhotekhola rural municipality of Sankhuwasabha.
The government and donor agencies have made high-level commitment to forward the construction of the 1,161-megawatt project.
A team comprising Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, lawmaker Deepak Khadka, Secretary of the Energy Ministry Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Executive Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghising, Managing-Director of the World Bank Anna Bjerde, Director General of the Asian Development Bank Ramesh Subramaniam carried out onsite inspection of the project site today.
At a programme organised at Chhograng of Bhotekhola rural municipality-4, Finance Minister Mahat shared that the Upper Arun Project is about to reach the implementation phase.
Stating that although there is limitation of resources, adequate budget has been allocated in order to take the project in implementation phase, he expressed commitment not to allow resources crunch in order to forward the project.
Dr Mahat, who is also the former Energy Minister, said that the locals will be provided shares of the hydroelectricity project for mobilizing funds for investing in it. He mentioned that an important project for the country has reached the stage of mobilizing investment.
“The World Bank has shown its special interest to invest in this project. It is trying to mobilize the investment with the participation of various international financial institutions,” Finance Minister Mahat added.
He said emphasis has been laid in the World Bank’s annual meeting and bilateral consultations on mobilizing grant along with concessional loans to make the project attractive for investment, and the government will provide its all-out support to take ahead the construction of the project by mobilizing the investment as soon as possible.
Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Basnet also reiterated the government’s commitment to immediately take forward the Upper Arun-like projects for the maximum utilization of water resources for the nation’s prosperity.
Lawmaker Deepak Khadka said the locals welcomed the project and were willing to move it ahead.
The WB Managing Director said discussions on this project have been going on ever since she came to Nepal and the electricity produced from this project would be instrumental for domestic consumption as well as for export.
She said the WB is ready to invest in the Upper Arun project for the benefit of all sides and stakeholders.
The estimated cost of the project is 1.75 billion US dollars (approx Rs 214 billion). Of this cost, 70 percent would be mobilized through loans and 30 percent by way of equity.