Friday, February 7, 2014

Upper Arun Dam to move ahead under World Bank support

Upper Arun to move ahead under World Bank support
Kantipur, 5 Feb, 2014

Kathmandu, January 4: The government with financial support from the
World Bank is taking ahead the 335 megawatts Upper Arun hydropower
project. The government proposed developing the Upper Arun hydropower
project after World Bank expressed interest in investing in a hydropower
project. Upper Arun is considered is a low investment project.

The World Bank has assured of providing concessional loan for the
development of the project. A World Bank team is current in Nepal to
inspect the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 45 billion.

At a function organized at the energy ministry on Tuesday Managing
Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Arjun Kumar Karki had briefed
the World Bank officials about the feasibility of Upper Arun. He also
assured the World Bank officials that the project is attractive in terms
of cost and returns on investment.

According to Karki, per unit cost of generating electricity through the
project by 2021 would stand at Rs 2.75. He said Upper Arun is one of
the most attractive projects as it would produce "stable energy" at a
low cost. The project would generate 245 megawatts of electricity even
during the dry season.

The World Bank officials have assured of investment in the project. The
meeting was also attended by energy secretary Bishwa Prakash Pandit. The
World Bank team is paying an inspection visit to the project site on
Wednesday. The World Bank team would submit its report to the World
Bank board of directors. The World Bank would then take an official
decision regarding support to the project.

The Nepal Electricity Authority is conducting detailed engineering study
on the project from this year. The cabinet has already decided to
develop this project through the NEA. The government has already
allocated Rs 100 million to conduct detailed engineering study on the
project in this fiscal year.

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