December 19, Kathmandu: Urja Developers Pvt. Ltd signed an Early Stage Project Services Agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World bank Group, on Friday.
Managing Director of Urja Bhanu Pokharel and the IFC Country Manager for Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan Wendy Jo Werner signed the agreement to this effect.
Urja Developers have been working for holistic solutions to renewable energy development to serve the domestic as well as the regional markets to further clean energy needs in South Asia. The company aims to develop 1 GW through hydropower and other renewable energy sources by 2030 to achieve carbon neutral energy, according to a press release issued by Urja Developers Private Limited.
The company has also been placing a strong focus on its environmental and social responsibilities, and plans to provide a range of services in the areas of hydropower planning, financing services, design & construction, operation & maintenance (O&M) and post-commission services, and power trade.
The company is currently developing an ecosystem of strategic partners to work together to fulfill existing capacity gaps and in their effort to do so, they are partnering with IFC to build capacity and understanding on good international industry practices to strengthen Urja’s environmental/social and technical capacity in contract management and operation and maintenance of hydropower projects. In addition, Urja Developers is a member of the IFC-led Powered by Women Initiative which aims to improve gender diversity and equality in hydropower companies.
During the agreement signing ceremony, IFC’s Country Manager for Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, Wendy Werner said that the agreement clearly demonstrates IFC’s willingness to work early with companies sharing their knowledge and expertise to help build up capacity within businesses looking for investments.
“We know it’s important for Nepal’s future for business to be able to attract capital to help the country sustainably develop its hydropower resources and meet its other development challenges, especially on the road to a resilient recovery post the COVID-19 global pandemic. IFC plans to significantly expand in Nepal and we look forward to a successful partnership with Uria Developers” the statement quoted her as saying.
So far, Urja and its subsidiaries have established a portfolio of 350 MW total capacity as small and medium hydropower projects, at varying development phases since its incorporation four years ago.
Of those projects, two hydropower projects, Mai Beni (9.51 MW) and Lower Jogmai (6.2 MW) are expected to be commissioned by mid 2021. Another company within the Urja group, Mewa Developers Pvt. Ltd. has begun the construction of a 49 MW Peaking Run-of-River (PRoR) Middle Mewa Hydropower Project in Taplejung.