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NAC’s first wide body A330 lands at TIA

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC)’s first wide body jet aircraft, the Airbus A330-200 has touched down at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) at 8: 15 AM on Thursday.

The new aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, features a two-class cabin configuration and seats a total of 274 passengers—18 in business class and 256 in economy class.

NAC has named the aircraft after Annapurna, the world’s 10th highest peak in the world. The arrival of the A330-200 jet will put the national flag carrier in the company of long-haul airlines.

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The national flag carrier paid US$4,800,000 for the aircraft. Annapurna will commence commercial operations within a month, NAC has stated.

NAC ordered two 274-seater jets through Portuguese leasing company Hi Fly. The second jet is expected to arrive by July-end.

The NAC board, on Oct 26, 2009, had decided to purchase two aircraft from Airbus-an A320-200 (narrow body) and an A330-200 (wide body) to expand its international fleet.

“After 10 years, the A330 jets will finally arrive,” NAC Managing Director Sugat Ratna Kansakar wrote on his Facebook page.

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

Gorkha Post

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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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