Nepal endorses power deal with India
KATHMANDU, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Two weeks after signing a major power deal with India, the Nepal government has endorsed the power trade agreement, government officials said here on Friday.
The meeting of Council of Ministers of Nepal held on Thursday evening endorsed the Agreement on Electric Power Trade and Cross- Border Transmission Interconnection and Grid Connectivity that was signed with the Indian government on Sept. 4.
The meeting has also approved the draft of power development agreement (PDA) prepared by Investment Board of Nepal (IBN), a government agency formed to facilitate mega projects in the Himalayan country.
According to the IBN officials with the approval upon the PDA draft, the government will sign PDA with Indian developer GMR Energy that is preparing to develop 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project in rural west past of the country.
The same meeting has authorized the IBN to move forward towards signing the PDA with GMR Energy.
Nepal’s energy experts said both of the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers has come as a milestone towards developing Nepal’s hydropower resources which is estimated at around 45,000 MW commercially feasible power generation capacity.
“Both of the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers will also help to attract investors from across the globe who have long been waiting to develop hydropower projects here,” Lal Bahadur Pandit, General Administration Minister told Xinhua via phone.
Nepal’s Energy Ministry officials however denied any information if the power deal with India has been endorsed from its parliament or not.
The agreement on power trade that will last for 25 years will come to the effect once the parliament or Council of Ministers from both of the countries endorse it.
Meanwhile, the IBN has begun preparations to sign the PDA with GMR Energy by forming a high level committee.
“We are trying to sign the PDA possibly today or tomorrow,” IBN chief Radhest Pant said. Enditem