Nepal's 50-MW Upper Marsyandgi hydroelectric plant is now generating power following a commissioning ceremony today, according to owner Sinohydro-Sagarmatha Power Co.
The ceremony, attended by several government dignitaries from Nepal and China, saw the first of two 25 MW turbine units go on line. Power generated by the plant will be supplied to the Nepal Electricity Authority's grid through a new transmission line.
Upper Marsyangdi is Nepal's first project to be built with foreign direct investment from China. Chinese conglomerate Sinohydro Resources Ltd. holds a 90% share in the plant's controlling body, while Nepal's Sagarmatha Power Co. owns the remainder.
The plant's second unit is expected to be generating power by the end of this year.
The project is located on the Marsyangdi River in western Nepal and 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.
Nepal's hydroelectric power sector has benefitted from a number of foreign investments in recent months. HydroWorld.com reported in February that the Asian Development bank had agreed to expand its annual lending to Nepal by 70%, while the World Bank Group also committed more than $22 million to help the country implement its Power Sector Reform and Sustainable Hydropower Project.
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