Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nepal: Chinese firm eyes West Seti project

Chinese firm eyes West Seti project
The Himalayan, 2011-05-25

KATHMANDU: China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC), one of the world's
largest hydropower developers, has written to the Prime Minister's
Office expressing its interest in investing in West Seti Hydro-Project
(WSHP-750 MW) –– the country's largest reservoir-type hydropower project
initiated 13 years ago.

West Seti Hydropower Limited, which was licensed to construct the
project, was unable to rope in investors for thirteen years. It finally
withdrew from the projects two months ago.

However, the government is yet to scrap the company's licence as it has
not decided whether to provide six more months to the company as per the

CTGC is the legal entity of the Three Gorges Project (21,000 MW) built
on the Yangtze River in China.

"We have noted Nepal Government's plan to develop West
Seti-Hydroelectricity Project to cater to domestic energy needs. This is
to officially submit expression of our interest for developing the
project in shortest possible time," the CTGC letter, a copy of which was
obtained by this daily, said.

The letter signed by Lu Guojun, assistant president of the corporation,
further said: "We would be flexible on developing the project as the
sole developer or a part of a Joint Venture or any other form of
collaboration with the Government of Nepal or Nepal Electricity Authority."

The corporation would also be willing to invest necessary resources to
update/upgrade the project design, it added.

The estimated cost of the project is $1.2-$1.7 billion and most of the
preliminary work such as Environmental Impact Assessment and Detail
Engineering Report have already been prepared.

CTGC has also offered its help in getting funds from the Chinese
government for the project.

"Depending upon the understanding with relevant stakeholders, we may
also be able to liaise and support steps to realise Chinese
government/Chinese EXIM Bank financial assistance to GoN, which may be
channelised as part of GoN or NEA's share in the project company," the
corporation mentioned in the letter.

The company has also expressed its commitment for the necessary
financial arrangements. "We are financially strong and this letter
demonstrates our willingness and capability to arrange financial
resources (equity as well as debt) as and when required," the letter

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