UPDATE – Nepal seeks headworks, tunnel for Melamchi water project

Nepal’s Melamchi Water Supply Development Board (MWSDB) seeks bids for construction of headworks and a 26-kilometer tunnel as part of the Melamchi Water Supply Project. Bids are due May 2.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed in February to new terms, including a lower cost, for funding construction of the Melamchi project, which is to bring drinking water to Kathmandu. (HNN 2/15/08)

MWSDB seeks bids for construction of a 26.3-kilometer diversion tunnel with a cross-section of between 12 and 20 square meters. It is to be excavated by drill and blast method. The work also includes construction of headworks intake structures, access roads, and hydraulic steelwork.

ADB initially agreed to support the project in 2000, but work was delayed by political circumstances and �challenges engaging private sector partners,� the bank said February 8. Changes since then have lowered the project cost to US$317.3 million from US$464 million due to careful prioritization and phasing of project components, the bank said.

The project is essential for Kathmandu’s 1.5 million residents, most of whom receive piped water for only a couple of hours a day, the bank said. The project originally was designed to include a 25-MW hydropower project, which was shelved to reduce cost and environmental effects.

ADB is providing a loan of US$137 million. Other donors are the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Nordic Development Fund, and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development. The government of Nepal is contributing US$90.6 million.

Bid documents in English may be obtained from the address below for US$200 or the equivalent by bank draft or deposit in MWSDB’s Account NPR C/A 01-1000918-01 at Standard Chartered Bank Nepal Ltd., New Baneswor Branch, Kathmandu. A pre-bid meeting is scheduled at 11 a.m. March 17.

Bids are due by noon May 2. For information, contact Executive Director, Melamchi Water Supply Development Board, Devkota road, Baneswor, Kathmandu, Nepal; (977) 1-4475303; Fax: (977) 1-4468962; E-mail: procurement@melamchiwater.org.

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