KATHMANDU, Jan 4: The estimated cost of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project (UTHP) has been projected to increase by an additional Rs 3 billion this year due to delays in the completion of the 456 MW hydropower project caused by the impact of lockdown and coronavirus, timely availability of related equipment and dilly-dallying by the contractor.
According to the UTHP, the project construction is targeted to be completed by February end and the total cost estimated till completion of the project will be around Rs 76 billion. It includes interest capitalization of Rs 24 billion. The actual construction cost alone is estimated to be Rs 52.29 billion, up from Rs 49.29 billion projected last year.
As per the UTHP officials, as of now, around 99 percent of the construction work has been completed. The construction was started a decade ago and had earlier targeted to start production by 2014. It has been delayed by over six years provided the project becomes operational in coming February.
The delay in completion of the national pride project has been mainly blamed on the hassles created by the Indian contractor Texmaco Engineering and Railway Company and the impact of coronavirus of late. Texmaco, which was awarded the hydro-mechanical work of the project, took out its hand from the project just a few months ago. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) then handed the work to Andritz Hydro of Austria.
Of the total investment, the UTHP has managed Rs 10.59 billion from share capital while the remaining Rs 41.70 billion has been funded through bank loans. The project’s financial report for the first quarter of the current fiscal year shows that NEA has invested Rs 14 billion and Nepal Telecom, Citizen Investment Trusts and Rastriya Beema Sansthan have jointly invested Rs 13 billion in the project.