Nepal government is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding with NHPC India Ltd. to develop the 480 MW Phukot Karnali semi-reservoir hydropower project located in Kalikot district in Western Nepal.
The government has asked NHPC India Limited, a government of India company to invest in power generation in collaboration with Vidyut Utpadan Company Ltd. (VUCL) of Nepal, in order to develop a project, according to Baburaj Adhikari, information officer at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation. Phukot Karnali Hydropower Project is a semi-reservoir project with a capacity 480 MW to be constructed in Sani Triveni Rural Municipality-1 of Kalikot district.
Feasibility study of the project has already been completed as well as digging a 520 metre test tunnel. There is a plan to construct a 160-metre-high dam in Sisnegada of Sani Triveni Rural Municipality-3 and channel it through a 13.5 km tunnel to the power plant that would be constructed in Bhautegada of Sani Triveni Rural Municipality.
The project costing about Rs. 92 billion is expected to be completed within five years after the start of construction. According to Adhikari, the draft of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for investment with Nepali companies was being prepared.
As per the draft MoU, Nepal will get 21.9 per cent free energy monthly from the project.
In the MoU draft, it has been proposed that the VUCL will own 49 per cent and NHPC will own 51 per cent.
It is mentioned in the draft that NHPC will have to manage the market of the electricity generated from the project and the loan required to build the project on behalf of the promoter company.
If Nepal wants to consume the electricity of the project by itself, it will have the right to buy it. The project’s surplus electricity will be exported to India.