Locals demand immediate construction of Upper Arun Project

KATHMANDU: The locals have demanded to move ahead with the construction of 1,061 MW semi-reservoir Upper Arun Hydropower Project immediately. The project, which has been identified in Bhotkhola village municipality of Sankhuwasabha, is being taken forward by the Electricity Authority through a subsidiary company.

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal led a high-level team comprising representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank to inspect the project on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Upper Arun Hydropower Project Affected Stakeholders Forum, Ladar Bhote, said that the construction of the project should be started as soon as possible as they are eager to burn the electricity generated from the water generated from their geography.

“We are happy that the project is being built. As the road will be constructed along with the project, we will be able to drive, schools and health sector will be improved,” said Bhote. We are ready to make the project a success. ‘

Minister Bhusal said that the detailed study of the project is being carried out as soon as possible and construction will start after finalizing the investment. “The project is being discussed but will not be constructed for decades. We are trying our best to end it and build for the benefit of the Upper Arun local people,” she said.

The government has said that the semi-reservoir Upper Arun will be given high priority and will be promoted as a ‘game changer’ project. This is the largest project being constructed by the Upper Arun Authority with a four-digit installed capacity (1061 MW) under the People’s Hydropower Program.

Discussions are underway to manage the project in a model with 49 percent public share and concessional loans from the World Bank, European Investment Bank and the investment of indigenous financial institutions such as Employees Provident Fund and Citizens Investment Fund. The federal, state and local governments will also invest in the project.

The estimated cost of the project, which can be operated at full capacity for six hours daily in the six months of winter when electricity is in high demand, is US १ 1.38 billion (about Rs. 161 billion). NEA plans to raise 30 percent of the total cost from equity and 70 percent from loans. The project will generate 4.53 billion units of energy annually. NEA has moved ahead with the 30 MW Ikhuwa Hydropower Project to be a part of Upper Arun. Ikhuwa is also a project included in the Janata Hydropower Program.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday September 23, 2021, 12:12:27 PM |

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