The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and India’s state-owned SJVN Ltd have agreed to develop the Lower Arun Hydroelectric Project in Nepal, which has a capacity of 679 megawatts. On behalf of their respective companies, IBN Chief Executive Officer Sushil Bhatta and SJVNL Managing Director Nand Lal Sharma signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Bhatta said the signing of the MoU for the Lower Arun HEP was a watershed moment in Nepal-India relations, and he expressed optimism that green projects may help to considerably reduce carbon emissions, which have been blamed for climate change.
SJVNL won the 679-MW Lower Arun HEP through an international competitive bidding process that included major participants, according to Sharma.
The Lower Arun HEP is located in the districts of Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur.
The peaking run-of-the-river project will be built, owned, operated, and transferred in accordance with the build, own, operate, and transfer paradigm.
Within two years of the MoU signing date, the company will perform a full project study and submit a detailed project report to the IBN.
The corporation will cover the entire cost of the study and will be required to present a monthly progress report to the IBN.
The project, which is anticipated to cost $1,300 million (based on 2017 exchange rates), is planned to be finished in four years after construction operations begin and will generate 2,625 gigawatt hours of power annually.
Bishnu Prasad Paudel, Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister, and Vinay Mohan Kwatra, India’s Ambassador to Nepal, signed the agreement today. Arun Dhiman, CEO of SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (SAPDC), and Jitendra Yadav, Chief Financial Officer of SAPDC, were also there, as were other senior officials from the Nepal government and SJVNL.
SJVN began its journey in Nepal in 2008, when it signed a contract to implement the 900MW Arun-III Project. The project’s building works began in 2018 with Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart PM Narendra Modi jointly laying the foundation stone. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the Arun III Hydroelectric Project has made great progress in the last three years, according to reports, with building activities continuing apace.