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Govt build Budhigandaki Hydro Project on its own : Energy Minister Pun

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KATHMANDU — The government is set to initiate a bidding process for the construction of Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project from the coming fiscal 2018/19.

At a programme organized at the Ministry on Tuesday, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun has said that the government will build the 1200 MW Budhigandaki Hydropower Project on its own and the tender process for the project will begin from next fiscal year.

“Necessary preparations are being made in a way to initiate the project construction process in the coming fiscal year,” Minister Pun said.

Budhigandaki is currently the only ready-to-implement reservoir-based hydropower project. The project’s Detailed Project Report (DPR) and tender documents are ready, according to officials.

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The erstwhile government had decided to construct the project with the capacity of 1,200 MW with Nepali investment. The Nepali Congress-led government had also decided to provide grant of Rs 100 billion to the project to make it investment worthy. Total estimated investment of the project is Rs 273 billion.

On the occasion, Minister Pun expressed commitment that he would not make any decision to award the contract for the project construction to any foreign company or agency. The government has put the project in the list of national pride.

Minister Pun informed that the government is currently exploring the sources of financing. The project’s estimated cost is Rs 259 billion.

With RSS Inputs

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Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to award contract for the construction of the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki hydropower project, a national pride project, to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) once again.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday has decided to award the contract for the project to CGGCL reverting the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba government’s decision to develop the 1200MW project with internal resources.

The Cabinet meeting has directed the Energy Ministry to initiate the process to award the project to the Chinese company.

Following the government decision, the Energy Ministry will now invite the Chinese company for talks and prepare a draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) before signing it, according to multiple sources at the ministry.

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As per the Cabinet decision, the ministry has been asked to hold talks with the Gezhouba, prepare a proposal, and strike a deal to execute the $2.5 billion reservoir project.

Earlier on May 15, 2017, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to construct the Budhigandaki project to CGGCL, juat nine days before he was to resign from the PM’s post.

The Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to CGGCL at a cost of Rs 260 billion as per a study carried out by a French company, Tractebel Engineering.

The agreement, however, invited controversy as the project was handed to the Chinese company without initiating a competitive bidding process.

The Budhi Gandaki hydel project has been touted as a key project to resolve the perennial power crisis in the country. The government has allocated Rs18 billion for compensation payments and operational expenses for this fiscal year.

The Gorkha and Dhading district administration offices are currently distributing compensation to owners of the land taken over by the project.

More than 8,000 households will be affected by the project, according to the latest report.

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