A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed for development of the 679-MW Lower Arun hydroelectric project between SJVN and the Investment Board of Nepal (IBN).
The MOU was by signed by Sh. Nand Lal Sharma, chairman and managing director of SJVN, and Sh Sushil Bhatta, chief executive officer of IBN. It was signed in the presence of Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Sh. Bishnu Prasad Paudel and Hon’ble Ambassador of India to Nepal, Sh. Vinay Mohan Kwatra.
The Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project is located in the Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts of Nepal. The project will not have any reservoir or dam and will be a tailrace development of the 900-MW Arun 3 hydroelectric project. The project will have four Francis-type turbines. On completion, the project will generate 2970 million units of electricity per annum. Lower Arun is scheduled to be completed in four years after construction activities commence. The project has been allocated to SJVN for 25 years on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis.
Sh. Sharma expressed deepest gratitude to the government of Nepal for selecting SJVN as developer for the Lower Arun HEP. SJVN started its journey in Nepal in 2008 by signing of the MOU for implementation of the Arun 3 project. Sh. Sharma said that Arun 3 has achieved significant progress in the past three years despite the global pandemic of COVID-19, as construction activities are in full swing. To mitigate any delays due to the pandemic, SJVN has implemented an acceleration plan and is committed to commissioning this project ahead of schedule. He emphasized that such progress could not have been achieved without the continuous support of IBN and the government of Nepal. The requisite approvals were granted in the shortest possible time despite the challenges faced due to the pandemic.
Sh. Sharma stressed that hydropower has to be developed with an Integrated River Basin Development approach for economic viability and to give a boost to infrastructure development. This approach will result in optimization of resources and faster project completion at lower cost.