Nepal to seek oversight work for 750-MW West Seti

Nepal’s Ministry of Finance plans to seek consultants to help the agency prepare for administration of the 750-MW West Seti hydroelectric project to be built on the Seti River in Nepal’s Far Western Development Region.

The US$1.2 billion project is being developed by West Seti Hydro Ltd., a subsidiary of Australia’s Snowy Mountains Engineering Corp., which received a concession to develop the project in 1994. In August, an environmental assessment of the project found it would bring US$991 million in economic benefits to Nepal over 30 years and would mitigate adverse effects on ecosystems and residents. (HNN 8/23/07)

The Asian Development Bank is considering providing US$300,000 to the Ministry of Finance for technical assistance in preparing to administer the project. Consultants are to be hired to conduct assessments, identify and design fiscal governance measures, carry our economic and financial due diligence, and prepare a local area development program.

International consultants are to be engaged for 10 person-months, while national consultants would be engaged for four person-months.

Construction of West Seti is expected to begin by late 2007. It is expected to require 5.5 years to build, 400 kilometers west of Kathmandu.

The project is to include four 187.5-MW vertical-shaft Francis turbine-generators with a head of 259 meters in an underground powerhouse, a 195-meter-tall concrete-faced rockfill dam, a 2,060-hectare reservoir, 6.7-kilometer headrace tunnel, a 620-meter tailrace tunnel, re-regulation weir, switchyard, access roads, and a 132.5-kilometer transmission line to India.

SMEC is to operate the project for 30 years and export power to India under a 25-year contract with Power Trading Corp. of India Ltd. At the end of the concession, the project is to be transferred to the government of Nepal. Nepal is to receive 10 percent of power revenues as royalty payment.

The ADB project officer for the technical assistance program is Neside T. Anvaripour, Energy Division, SARD, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines; (63) 2-6326468; E-mail: ntasanvaripour@adb.org; Internet: www.adb.org.

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