By: Vijay Kumar Verma, Group Editor-ICN World

SHIMLA : A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for the development of the 679 MW Lower Arun Hydro Power Project between SJVN & Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) in Kathmandu,  Nepal today. The MoU was signed by Nand Lal Sharma Chairman & Managing Director SJVN and Sushil Bhatta CEO, IBN in the  presence of Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Bishnu Prasad Paudel  and Ambassador of India in Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

Nand Lal Sharma informed that,SJVN Limited had bagged the 679 MW Lower Arun HEP through  International Competitive Bidding (ICB), which included big hydro power players. The Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project is located in Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur Districts of Nepal. The project will not have any reservoir or dam and will be a tail race development of 900 MW Arun3 HEP. The project will have four francis type turbines. The project will thus be operated in tandem with the upstream 900 MW Arun – 3 Project which is in an advanced stage of construction. On completion the Project will generate 2970 million units of electricity per annum. The project is scheduled to be completed in four years after commencement of construction activities. The project has been allocated to SJVN for 25 years on a BOOT basis. Its operations will similar to SJVN’S 412 MW Rampur hydro power station which is being operated in tandem with upstream 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri hydro power station.

Sharma expressed  gratitude to the Government of Nepal for reposing faith in the abilities and capabilities of SJVN by selecting it as developer for Lower Arun HEP. He also thanked the Ministry of Power, Government of India for supporting SJVN in all its endeavours in India & abroad. He further informed that SJVN started its journey in Nepal in the year 2008 by signing a MoU for implementation of 900 MW Arun-3 Project.  Construction activities of this project had commenced with laying of foundation stone jointly by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Nepal,  K.P. Sharma Oli in 2018.

Sharma further said that the 900 MW Arun 3 Hydro Electric Project had achieved significant progress during the last three years despite the global pandemic of COVID-19. In order to mitigate any delays due to pandemic SJVN has already implemented an acceleration plan and is committed to commissioning this project ahead of schedule. He also emphasized that such progress could not have been achieved without the support of IBN and Government of Nepal. The requisite approvals were granted in the shortest possible time despite the challenges faced due to pandemic.

Nand Lal Sharma stressed that Hydro Power has to be developed with Integrated River Basin Development approach for economic viability and to give boost to infrastructural development. This approach will result in optimization of resources and faster project completion at lower cost. He also requested the Government of Nepal for providing further opportunity to SJVN for harnessing Hydro Power in Nepal.

SJVN’s present installed capacity is 2016.51 MW and aims to be 5000 MW company by 2023, 12000 MW Company by 2030 and 25000 MW Company by 2040. SJVN has presence in various sectors of energy generation which includes Hydro, Wind, Solar & Thermal. The company also has presence in the field of Energy Transmission.

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