Nepal scraps $2.5b hy­dropower fa­cil­ity deal with Gezhouba

Global Times - - Biz Overview -

Nepal has scrapped a $2.5 bil­lion deal with China Gezhouba Group Corp to build the coun­try’s big­gest hy­dropower plant, cit­ing lapses in the award process, the en­ergy min­is­ter said.

“The cab­i­net has can­celed the ir­reg­u­lar... agree­ment with Gezhouba Group to build the Budhi Gandaki hy­dro­elec­tric project,” En­ergy Min­is­ter Ka­mal Thapa, who is also the coun­try’s deputy prime min­is­ter, said on Mon­day in a twit­ter post in Nepali af­ter a cab­i­net meet­ing. He did not give fur­ther de­tails.

Nepal’s rivers have vast, un­tapped po­ten­tial for hy­dropower gen­er­a­tion, but a lack of funds and tech­nol­ogy has made Nepal lean on neigh­bor In­dia to meet an­nual de­mand of 1,400 megawatts.

Nepal awarded a con­tract to de­velop the $2.5 bil­lion Bud­hi­gan­daki Hy­dro­elec­tric Project to Gezhouba, the Xin­hua News Agency re­ported in May.

Gezhouba did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a faxed re­quest for com­ment and did not an­swer tele­phone calls.

China has been in­vest­ing in hy­dro­elec­tric projects in Nepal in re­cent years. In 2016, Up­per Madi Hy­dropower Project, a China-Nepal joint ven­ture com­pany, started gen­er­at­ing power, said the Xin­hua re­port.

China and In­dia are jostling for in­flu­ence with aid and in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture projects in Nepal.

Kath­mandu has cleared a 750 MW project to be built on the West Seti River by China’s Sta­te­owned Three Gorges In­ter­na­tional Corp.

It has also per­mit­ted two In­dian com­pa­nies to build one hy­dropower plant each, both ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing 900 MW of power each.

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