The Nepal Electricity Authority and China Three Gorges Corp. have agreed to a joint venture allowing for the construction of the 750-MW West Seti hydroelectric project.
The agreement -- which must still be approved by the boards at both NEA and CTGC -- would allow for the establishment of a joint venture company in Nepal and remove any ambiguity regarding the future of the long-delayed proposal.
West Seti has been in development since at least 1994, when a subsidiary of the Snow Mountains Engineering Corp. received a concession to build the project.
Work was then expected to begin by the end of 2007, but stalled a number of times until SMEC surrendered the development license in July 2012.
The project sat stagnant after China Three Gorges secured rights to its development in 2015.
Financing for the US$1.6 billion plant is being provided primarily by CTGC and the Export-Import Bank of China. The investment represents China's largest into Nepal, which is estimated to have at least 40,000 MW of hydroelectric potential.
The agreement announced this week will give CTGC a 75% share in the plant, with NEA holding the remainder.
The parties have not yet said when work on the project would begin, but said construction should take about four years when CTGC procured development rights in 2015.
For more news from Asia, visit here.