Nalgad awarded survey licenceThe Energy Ministry has awarded a survey licence for the construction of the Nalsing Gad Hydropower Project to Nalgad Hydropower Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vidhyut Utpadan Company.
The Energy Ministry has awarded a survey licence for the construction of the Nalsing Gad Hydropower Project to Nalgad Hydropower Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vidhyut Utpadan Company.
Nalgad had applied at the Department of Electricity Development (DoED) for a permit on Sunday.
The 410 MW storage-type project is being built in Jajarkot district in western Nepal.
As the ministry holds the right to award survey licences for hydropower projects with an installed capacity of 100 MW or above, the department had forwarded the application to the ministry with its recommendation to provide a licence to Nalgad.
“As the paperwork submitted by the company was complete, we were able to issue our recommendation for a licence within three days,” said Nabin Raj Singh, director general at the DoED on Wednesday. Following the issuance of the licence to a subsidiary of Vidhyut Utpadan Company, the legal confusion that arose after the project was transferred to the company has been cleared.
Legal issues were raised after the government scrapped the Nalsing Gad Hydropower Development Committee and gave the project to Vidhyut Utpadan Company as it did not have a survey licence.
Government entities like development committees do not require a survey licence to implement a hydropower project, but private companies must obtain one.
The survey licence allows Nalgad Hydropower Company to proceed with the
construction of the project which it plans to do after receiving the detailed project report (DPR) from SMEC MWH Uday, the consultant appointed to prepare it. SMEC MWH Uday received the contract to prepare the DPR in May 2016 with a two-year deadline.
Nalsing Gad is considered to be a strategic project because of the high water level in the river, stable water flow, small number of households that need to be relocated and easier land acquisition process.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) completed the project’s feasibility study at a cost of around Rs1 billion four years ago. The state-owned power utility had envisaged an installed capacity of 400 MW.
Later, the government formed a development committee which decided to develop the project with an installed capacity of 410 MW. Tasks like construction of a weather station, automatic discharge gauging, buildings and camps around the reservoir and embankment sites have already been concluded.
Other tasks like land acquisition, compensation distribution and construction of an access road and embankment, which were being carried out by the development committee, have come to a halt after the project was given to a private company.
Nalgad Hydropower Company is expected to pick up where the committee left off. The Rs100-billion project will displace 588 households. It needs to acquire 300 hectares of farmland and 300 hectares of forests.