KATHMANDU, May 20: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and irrigation Barshaman Pun has requested the World Bank to make an investment in the Upper Arun Hydroelectric Project.
Speaking at a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Minister Pun put forth the proposal of making an investment and leading the financial closure of the 725 MW hydroelectricity project.
Stating that the recently presented policy and program for the Fiscal Year 2020/21 has put construction of the Upper Arun Project in high priority, Pun requested the World Bank to take the lead in financial closure of the project. “The preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Upper Arun hydropower project is in the final phase,” he said. “As a good project we are hopeful that the WB will lead the financial closure for the project. If that happens, it would be easier for us to find investments.”
World Bank’s country manager for Nepal Faris H Hadad-Zervos has expressed commitment to take the proposal to the higher management of the World Bank. “I know the project is good and will convey the minister’s message to the management,” he added.
The government has decided to construct the project in company model through the state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Arun Hydro Electric Company has been entrusted with the responsibility to develop the project.
The project will have 78% share of NEA, 10% of affected locals, 15% of public, 5% of staff of the project and the remaining 5% of differently-abled citizens. The estimated cost of the project is Rs120 billion. The bank has already shown a commitment to provide concessional loan amounting Rs 14.38 billion for the project.
The project will generate 4.47 billion units of energy (4,478 Gwh). Of the total generation, 28% will be produced in winter. The NEA expects to complete the construction of the project by 2026.
The electricity generated from the Upper Arun Hydroelectric Project will be connected to the national grid through a substation located at Shitalpati of Khandbari Municipality in Sankhuwasabha district through a 40-kilometer-long 400 KV double circuit transmission line.