firms flood Nepal with hydropower proposals
By Sudeshna Sarkar
Indo-Asian News Service
Kathmandu, Sep 22 (IANS) Heartened by two Indian investors'
entry into Nepal's once closely guarded hydropower sector,
more and more Indian companies are now eyeing the Himalayan
republic with over two-thirds of the latest applications for
licence coming from firms in New Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka
Of the 72 recent applications made at Nepal's Department
of Electricity Development, over 60 are from Indian companies,
including the GMR group that broke the ice in a sector the
Indian government itself could not penetrate in the past due
to the prevailing political distrust and instability here.
GMR Energy, which became the trendsetter by bagging the 300
MW Upper Karnali project despite opposition by local organisations
and some sister concerns of the ruling Maoist party, is now
back to do more business, seeking licences to develop the
500 MW Tila project and the more modest Karnali Gutu that
can generate up to 144 MW.
Jindal Steel and Power, that was worsted by GMR in the race
for Upper Karnali, is also back in the ring, setting its sights
on eight new projects.
Jindal is seeking to develop one of the biggest deals, the
10,800 MW Karnali Chisapani Storage as well as seven smaller
ones, Upper Arun (335 MW), Lower Arun (308 MW), Sapta Gandaki
(225 MW) on the Narayani river and four projects on the Dudhkoshi
that range from 108 MW to 213 MW.
Another bested bidder, Larsen and Toubro, is also keen to
enter Nepal's hydropower sector and this time is eyeing seven
projects together with Larsen and Toubro Power Development
These are Upper Arun (335 MW), Tila (471 MW), Karnali (187
MW), Ande Pipal Arun (1,200 MW), Chokan Lingam (520 MW) and
Lunsun Pepuwa (300 MW).
The other big bidder is Bhilwara Energy, which wants to develop
six power projects: Upper Trishuli 2A (229 MW), Karnali 7A
(250 MW), Seti River Jal Vidyut Yojana (107 MW), Karnali 4
(166 MW), Humla Karnali 1 (244 MW) and Mugu Karnali 1 (194
Others who could be first time entrants in Nepal are Mumbai's
Patel Engineering that is eyeing three projects, including
the ambitious 3,300 MW Saptakoshi Storage, Lanco Infratech,
KSK Energy Venture, Athena Projects and Kasargod Power Corp.
Also in the fray are RVK Energy, Maytas Property, MMS Steel
and Power and AES India that has teamed up with CG Energy
The bids to obtain hydropower licences in Nepal get a boost
from a recent Supreme Court verdict that struck down attempts
by non-governmental organisations to block the entry of Australian
company Snowy Mountain Engineering Corp.
Potential Indian investors got another shot in the arm from
the new budget tabled by Maoist Finance Minister Baburam Bhattarai
last week that pledges to generate 10,000 MW of power in the
next decade, encourage Indian investors, dispense with red
tape and discourage non-serious bidders.
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