ready to help Nepal raise $20 bn for hydropower sector
Sep 23 (IANS) The third Power Summit, with "harnessing
power" as its theme, kicked off here Tuesday with India
pledging to help Nepal develop its potentially rich hydropower
sector and Nepal providing an assurance of security and investment
new Maoist government's intention of generating 10,000 MW
of power in the next decade would require about $20 billion,
Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh
said at the inauguration of the summit, which has brought
over 300 investors, mostly from India.
is not a difficult task," the Indian minister said. "However,
the private capital market is unlikely to come up with the
entire amount. You need public-private partnership and the
government of Nepal must play its role."
Ramesh said India, which was a clear market for the export
of power generated in Nepal, did not believe in dominating
the neighbouring country.
remote switch is in the hands of the Nepal government,"
Ramesh said. "If Nepal presses fast forward, India will
go along with it. If Nepal presses pause, we will pause. But
I hope Nepal doesn't press rewind."
said that Nepal's new Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Prachanda's recent visit to India had generated a lot of interest
in Indian investors, especially in the hydropower sector.
the struggle of some major Indian investors in Nepal, like
Dabur Nepal, the wholly owned subsidiary of Dabur India, had
Nepal remains closed since end-August after a wildcat strike
by the Maoist labour union.
is a big company and occupies a lot of media space in India,"
Ramesh said. "If the West Seti project gets going in
the next six months or geological work starts on Upper Karnali
in the next three months, it will restore the confidence of
the Indian investor."
750 MW West Seti project, which is the focus of investors
in India and Europe, is being developed by Australian Snowy
Mountain Engineering Corporation with a Chinese EPC contractor
for sale of power to India.
IL&FS also has a stake while the Power Trading Corporation
of India has signed a power purchase agreement to sell the
generated power to India.
other case, being closely watched by the Indian investor,
is the 402 Arun III that is now the baby of India's public
sector undertaking Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam.
the past, the bilateral agenda focused on mega projects,"
Ramesh said. "It is better to start small."
Ramesh reminded Nepal, which is wary of exporting power to
India, that Nepal's power export to India would be "just
a drop in the ocean".
2020, India would be set to buy 10,000 MW from Bhutan and
generate 50,000 MW by 2025 from its own states.
power exports to India would be a big leap for Nepal, raising
its GDP substantially like it did for Bhutan.
facilitate Indo-Nepal power trade, the two countries are building
a 140 km link between Muzaffarpur in Bihar and Dhalkebar in
Nepal at an estimated cost of over Rs.1,500 million for transferring
around 200-250 MW.
Nepal's Home Minister and Deputy PM Bamdev Gautam, who inaugurated
the two-day summit, said that the new government of Nepal
regarded hydropower as the key resource to develop the national
it the West Seti or Upper Karnali or Arun III or Sunkoshi
project, we will dedicate our efforts to providing security
as a short-term measure and (investment) guarantee as a long-term
measure," Gautam said.
West Seti and Upper Karnali were obstructed by protests by
local organisations who finally moved Nepal's Supreme Court,
asking for the scrapping of the licences.
in a landmark judgment, the apex court recently ruled in the
West Seti case that the granting of the licence did not require
a two-third approval vote in parliament, thereby easing legal
hurdles and paving the way for the entry of other foreign
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