A high level team from China is planning to visit Nepal by the end of August to discuss construction of West Seti Hydel Project.
CWE Investment – a subsidiary of the China Three Gorges Corporation – is developing the 750-MW West Seti Hydro Project.
Earlier, over the last weekend, vice president of CWE Investment Lu Chan had sent a letter to Investment Board of Nepal that they will be visiting Nepal soon.
“Dr Chan had said that a team from CWE Investment will visit Nepal on August 31 to discuss on the West Seti Project,” informed chief executive of the board Investment Board of Nepal that is mandated in facilitating development of hydropower projects of more than 500 MW.
Chan has also proposed to form a joint company with representatives from both the countries to begin foundational works for the construction of the project.
The much talked about hydel project is expected to help reduce power shortage in the country and restart industrialisation that has been stalled due to lack of power in recent years.
Though Chinese investors are constructing more than half dozen hydropower projects in Nepal, West Seti is the largest venture by any foreign investors in Nepal.
The government and CWE Investment has signed a memorandum of understanding of $1.6 billion worth for the development of West Seti Hydropower project, in August 2012. The project – that is a top priority and national pride project – is expected to be completed by 2019, according to the memorandum of understanding.
After a change in the board of CWE Investment, dialogues between the government and developer had not been held since so long.
However, the latest response from the CWE Investment has instilled hope in the project.
The Exim Bank of China has already agreed to offer soft and commercial loans worth $1.6 billion for the construction of the project.
The agreement between the Investment Board and CWE has ensured 10 per cent equity to the local people in the far west, where the project will be located, allocation of 150 MW of electricity from the project to the region and multi-purpose benefits from the project to the maximum extent economically possible.