KATHMANDU, Aug 6: Zhejiang Jinlun Electromechanic Co - the Chinese contractor for Kulekhani III's mechanical and electro mechanical works - have sent its representatives at the project site after a yearlong gap.
The contracting firm has sent a managerial staff at the project site. The staff is taking stock of work at the site, according to officials of Kulekhani III project.
The Chinese firm took the job seriously after the government raised the issued at the diplomatic level. The Ministry of Energy corresponded with the Embassy of China in Kathmandu, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in May, requesting it for needful coordination for sending competent team of the Chinese contractor to complete remaining work of the 14-megawatt capacity project.
Only around five percent work of the project is remaining. It takes a maximum of six months to complete the work, according to project officials.
Responding to the energy ministry's letter, the embassy had assured to coordinate with the contractor, an official of MoFA told Republica, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to talk to media.
Project Manager Subhash K Mishra, who was appointed some nine months ago, said he was hopeful that the project would be completed soon. Mishra told Republica that he had repeatedly corresponded with the contractor via email but to no avail.
The contractor was only supply necessary equipment and machineries at the project site. Though staffers of Golchha Organization -- the unofficial representative of the Chinese firm -- were at the site, the work progress was very slow. “
"We could do nothing except wait for the Chinese contract”r," added Mishr“. "Hopefully, the contractor's representative will put things in order and complete the remaining works,"
Civil works of the plant have almost completed. Remaining civil works can be done only after electro mechanical works like installing equipment, generators and other machineries are completed.
Energy Secretary Suman Sharma had held informal discussion on the issue with the consular in Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu before initiating diplomatic lobbying“
"The contractor has completed 65 percent of hydro mechanical works, while 37 percent of installation of electro mechanical works has been completed," Mishra said.
The contractor is yet to supply machineries and equipment for the remaining works.
Project cost has nearly doubled to Rs 4.22 billion from the estimated Rs 2.5 billion due to variation payments mainly due to time overrun by nearly four years.
The project, which started in 2007, was expected to be completed in 2011.
Last year, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had fined contractor 10 percent of the contracting amount, or around Rs 80 million, for missing the deadline.