A board meeting of Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) on Tuesday formed a core team to negotiate power development agreement (PDA) with four export-oriented hydropower projects under the purview of the board. The projects are 900MW Upper Karnali and 600MW Upper Marsyangdi, 600MW Arun 3 and 880MW Tamakoshi III.
Indian company GMR Energy is developing Upper Karnali and Upper Marsyangdi projects, while Satlaj India is developing Arun 3 project and Norwegian Company SN Power the Tamakoshi III. All the developers are seeking early PDA agreement to begin construction of the projects. Although the developers were skeptic about the PDA template, the government has incorporated the concerned of the developers in the new template, according to the IBN.
“With the approval of a PDA, we will proceed towards active negotiations with the developers of the four projects,” said IBN CEO Radhesh Pant, who is heading the six-member negotiating committee that also comprises representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Finance and Law and Justice.
Other members in the committee include Anup Kumar Upadhyay, director general of Department of Electricity Development (DoED), Keshav Dhoj Adhikari, joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy (MoE), Baikuntha Aryal, joint secretary at the Finance Ministry and Mukunda Paudyal, joint secretary at the IBN.
The Ministry of Law and Justice has not yet named its representative.
Chairman of Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi, who chairs the board, directed the IBN and the newly-appointed committee members to swiftly proceed negotiations with the developers.
Moreover, the IBN, during a separate meeting on Monday with Sutlaj and GMR, had forwarded a PDA template tailored for their respective projects.
“The template that has incorporated comments from the international lending communities, multilateral agencies and the developers themselves has also been given to SN Power,” Pant said.
The two developers had given their comments after reviewing the PDA template in December.
“The revised PDA draft has addressed most of their concerns,” said another IBN official. “Rest of the contentious issues will be dealt with properly during the negotiation,” he said.
Meanwhile, the IBN and World Bank have jointly hired Lahmeyer International, a global engineering firm, to evaluate the four projects from socio-economic, financial, environmental, geotechnical and hydrological perspective.
“The evaluation of these projects will help us assess their benefits and our position during the PDA negotiation,” added Pant.
Source : The Kathmandu Post