Kathmandu, Sept. 27:Upper Marsyangdi ‘A’ hydroelectricity project Monday started generating electricity.
Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma Pravakar announced the commencement of power generation by the project.
With it 25 megawatt electricity has been connected to the national grid.
The hydropower project with 50 MW capacity in Bhulbhule VDC of Lamjung district was constructed by a Chinese and Nepali joint venture company Sinohydro-Sagarmatha Power Company (SSPC).
Sinohydro is the sister company of China’s state-owned PowerChina Resources Limited and Sagarmatha is the sister company of Chitwan Co-E. These companies have 90 per cent and 10 per cent share in the project respectively.
The company organized special events in Kathmandu and at the project site to mark the power generation of the project.
According to chairman of Sagarmatha Power Company Raju Babu Shrestha, the run-of-river based project was developed at the cost of Rs. 16 billion.
The cost includes the investment in constructing 132 KV single circuit transmission line, 20 km, from the powerhouse to Mid-Marsyangdi Hydropower Project.
The company has completed the construction of the transmission line in just six months, said managing director of SSPC Chen Wen.
He said that only two turbines were in operation currently and within a couple of months other two would start functioning.
Due to delay in construction of transmission lines and other technical difficulties, the company couldn’t run all the turbines.
The project was started in October 2012 and expected to be completed in December last year.
The company signed power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority in January 2010 and obtained license for electricity production.
“But, the earthquakes and obstruction at the border affected the construction works at the project site which delayed the completion,” said Sheng Yuming, chairman of Power China.
Minister Pravakar said that the power generation of the Upper Marsyangdi ‘A’ came as the relief to Nepali people in the time of festivals.
He appreciated the partnership between Sagarmatha and Sinohydro and said that it would remain as a model for future endeavours of joint-ventures.
“This will send message to other investor that Nepal is safe for investment. It has opened new avenues for the energy sector development,” said the Minister.
He urged the Chinese investors to help Nepal in developing hydropower projects in Karnali.