Nepal has awarded two power projects —West Seti Hydropower Project and Seti River Hydropower Project— to a leading Indian company nearly four years after China withdrew from the projects

India’s state-owned National Hydro Power Corporation Ltd (NHPC) Ltd and Investment Board Nepal signed an agreement to develop the two power projects in the western part of the Himalayan nation. The agreement was signed following Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s decision to expand power sector partnership between the two nations.

The estimated cost of the projects 750MW West Seti and 450MW SR6 projects is $2.4 billion. The projects got stuck in a limbo after two Chinese companies on two separate occasions backed out after signing MoUs with the Nepalese government for developing the projects.

The NHPC will conduct a project study, which is expected to take two years, before beginning the construction work, as per reports in Nepalese media.

India’s SJVN Ltd is already developing a 900MW project and was awarded another 679 MW project last year in the landlocked country. GMR is also working on the Upper Karnali Hydro Electricity project located between Achham, Dailekh and Surkhet districts.

The development comes after the prime ministers of India and Nepal issued a joint statement on power sector cooperation in April 2022.

The two countries agreed to explore opportunities for expanding and further strengthening mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in the power sector including joint development of power generation projects in Nepal, development of cross-border transmission infrastructure, bi-directional power trade with appropriate access to electricity markets in both countries based on mutual benefits, market demand and applicable domestic regulations of each country, coordinated operation of the national grids and institutional cooperation in sharing latest operational information, technology and know-how.

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