Everest-led consortium, Upper Tamor strike deal

KATHMANDU, JUNE 6: A consortium led by Everest Bank will be investing in the Upper Tamor-the largest hydropower project in the country being constructed by the private sector. An agreement to this effect was signed between Sudhesh Khaling, CEO of the bank and Pushpajyoti Dhungana, president of Upper Tamor,  in a program held yesterday in the capital.   Apart from Everest, the consortium consists of seven other banks-Agriculture Development Bank, HIDCL, Rastriya Banijya Bank, Prabhu Bank, Laxmi Sunrise, Nepal SBI and Garima Development.

The total cost of the 285 MW- project stands at Rs 55 billion.  Of this amount, 30 percent will be arranged by the company while the consortium is going to finance the remaining 70 percent.

Speaking on the occassion, Ganesh Karki, president of the Independent Power Producers’s Association of Nepal (IPPAN), demanded the goverment amend the Electricity Bill (before authenticiating in the parliament ) in order to facilitate the the private sector develop hydel proects having the total production capacity beyond 100 MW.

“The private players are capable to construct hydel projects up to 500 MW. As such, the provision in  the Bill that does not permit such players to venture into projects more than 100 MW must be changed.”

Nepal is planning to generate 28,000 MW of hydropower in the next 12 years, out of which 10,000 will be exported to India, 5,000 to Bangladesh, and the remaining 12,000 for domestic consumption,. The materialization of this plan calls for Rs a hefty 4.6 trillion. According to Karki, domestic banks and financial institutions (BFIs) should be more prioritised for arranging the investment of this scale.