February 26, 2012
A three-member team from China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) is
arriving in Nepal on Sunday to discuss investment possibilities in the
750-MW West Seti Hydro Electricity Project (WSHEP).
The state-owned CTGC is China's largest hydropower developer, better
known as the company that constructed the Three Gorges Dam, the world's
largest power station in terms of the installed capacity (20,300 MW).
Energy Minister Post Bahadur Bogati on Saturday said the Chinese team
would hold a meeting with a technical team from Nepal formed to discuss
According to Energy Ministry sources, CTGC has proposed that it would
help the government get soft loans from the Exim Bank of China. The Exim
Bank had earlier proposed to offer soft and commercial loans worth $1.6
billion, but the Nepal government had proposed the Chinese side to
provide the entire amount in concessional loans.
The Nepal government had made a formal request to the Chinese government
for financing the West Seti project during the 60-member Chinese
delegationï¿½s visit to Nepal last year. The delegation was led by Zhou
Yongkang, a powerful member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese
Communist Party (CPC). In response, the Chinese side had asked Nepal to
send the Detailed Project Report of the project to China.
Earlier this year, CTGC had written to the Prime Minister's Office
expressing its interest to invest in the West Seti Project.
Following the termination of West Seti's licence on July, 2011, the
ministry had suggested three options to the government for the
construction of the projectï¿½the government build the project on its own
or find loans or call a global tender.
West Seti was originally designed as an export-oriented project with 90
percent of the power to be exported to India. However, its promoter,
West Seti Hydropower Company Limited (WSHPL), failed to move ahead with
the construction that was estimated to cost Rs 120 billion.
WSHPL, after failing to manage resources, proposed developing the
project under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in January,
2011. The storage-type project located in Doti and Dadheldura districts
is one of the top priority projects.
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