Chinese team starts studying West Seti project site
KATHMANDU, Oct 16: A technical team of experts from Beijing´s CWE Investment Corporation (CWEI), a subsidiary of the China Three Gorges Corporation that has agreed to develop the 750 MW West Seti Hydropower Project, has initiated preliminary study of the project site.
“A joint team consisting of three representatives from the Nepali government and eight from CWEI are currently on a preliminary visit of the proposed West Seti hydropower project area,” said Radhesh Pant, CEO of Investment Board of Nepal (IBN).
According to him, the objective of this visit is to develop first-hand understanding of the technical and financial feasibility of the 750 MW-capacity project.
Through the visit, the CWEI technical team is scheduled to assess the project´s hydrology, geology, migrant planning, project hydraulics, and engineering, among others. Its finding will lay down a ground for the execution of the project development.
IBN said the field visit is being done as part of an agreed work plan that it and CWEI jointly developed following the signing of the memorandum of minutes (MoM) in Beijing in August.
Going by the MoM, CWEI and government will jointly develop the project with equity investment of 75 percent from CWEI and 25 percent from the government. The government says it will invest in the project by securing concessionary financing from the Chinese government.
IBN officials, nonetheless, clarified that the fresh MoM has taken into account all the recommendations made by the last Parliamentary Natural Resources and Means Committee and set a framework for due diligence on feasibility.
“I am hopeful that the Chinese team´s findings will be positive,” a statement of IBN quoted Pant as saying.
Pant further stated that efforts are currently underway from Nepal´s side on laying the groundwork for the national master transmission plan to evacuate power from the project to the domestic market.
West Seti is one of the government´s top priority projects. It aims to supply up to 150 MW of electricity to the western industrial corridor, while the remaining power would go for fulfilling domestic power demand.