25-MW Upper Madi hydropower project begins generation in Nepal

The 25-MW Upper Madi hydropower project, owned jointly by a China-Nepal venture, started generating power in Kaski district in western Nepal, on Dec. 30.

Nepal’s Energy Minister, Janardan Sharma, inaugurated the plant and according to published reports said the development of hydropower projects with the participation of the private sector is helping reduce load shedding in the country.

China International Water & Electric Co. (CWE) financed the project under the build, own, operate and transfer model together with Nepalese investor Bijay Babu Malla.

CWE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corp. (CTG), is also developing the 750-MW West Seti hydropower project on which China’s Sino Hydro Corp. began construction in December 2012.

According to the Independent Power Producers of Nepal (IPPAN), private sector power producers added 140 MW of power in 2016.

“The Chinese companies investing in partnership with Nepalese investors is great news for Nepal,” said IPPAN President Khadga Bahadur Bisht. “We are also finding growing interest among Chinese investors to make investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector.”

In September, the 50-MW Upper Marsyangdi-A hydroelectric project, developed by a different China-Nepal joint venture, began operation. Located on the Marsyangdi River in western Nepal, it is the second facility in a cascade that also includes the previously completed 72-MW Middle Marsyangdi. That component, finished in 2008, was executed with heavy involvement from German partners.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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