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IBN given approval for developing West Seti Project

13 April, Kathmandu : the Investment Board Nepal has got the approval for the development of the West Seti Hydroelectricity Project.

west setiA meeting of the Board held in Singha Durbar today gave the go-ahead to the project promoter company – the Three Gorges Company of China- for starting the preliminary works of the much-awaited project.

Likewise, this decision has also paved the way for mobilizing the foreign investment required for the project. The Chinese company can now start the process of registering the company for moving the construction works of the project forward.

The West Seti Hydroelectricity Project will occupy the territories of Baitadi, Bajura, Dadeldhura and Doti districts in the Far-west region of the country.

Approval has been given for starting drilling and associated works at the local level, Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Board, Radhesh Panta, said after the meeting.

The Chinese Three Gorges Company will invest 75 per cent and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) 25 per cent of the total investment of the project. Last month, a delegation comprising the Chairman of the Three Gorges Company, during its visit to Nepal, called on the government to resolve the problems at the local level as well as those related to rehabilitation, resettlement and the construction of the transmission line. The total investment of the project is estimated at Rs 150 billion.

Responsibility was given to an Australian Company 20 years ago for the construction of the 750-MW project. The government had cancelled the license of the Australian company three years ago, citing it failed to carry out construction works in an effective manner and gave the responsibility to the China Three Gorges.

Similarly, a meeting of the Board has opened the door to initiate the process of Project Development Agreement of the Tamakoshi-III. The construction site of the 650-MW project is in Dolkha. Chief Executive Officer of the Board, Panta, said the PDA of the project would be signed in near future.

Likewise, the meeting also decided to take the construction works of the Tribhuvan International Airport and Nijgadh International Airport ahead coordinating with each other. Upgrading works at TIA are being carried out with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank.

CEO Panta said doors are opened to make the available services and facilities at TIA effective as well as to expedite the works of Nijgadh International Airport immediately.

The government has allocated Rs 500 million for the construction of Nijgadh Airport in the current fiscal year. The government recently determined the four cardinal borders of the airport.

Meanwhile, today’s meeting of the board has decided to charge USD 1,500 with the promoters when the Project Development Agreement is signed. It is believed that by doing so, the promoters will have ‘sense of ownership’ while undertaking the project.

Likewise, a Coordination Committee will be formed under the convenorship of the Executive Officer of the Board and comprising the Chief of the Finance, Energy and Forest Ministries and Nepal Electricity Authority. The Committee is believed to ease off the issues emerging in course of taking forward the project. Although the participants of the meeting discussed on the Kathmandu-Terai fast-track, no decisions was made about it, according to Chief Officer Panta.

The long over-due meeting held today saw deliberations on how to further the projects having long term effects, it is learnt. RSS

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