Nepal hydroelectric power project under threat

China Three Gorges International are threatening to pull out of building a crucial 750 MW hydroelectric power plant in Nepal.

Nepalese Energy Ministry spokesman Arjun Karki said the China Three Gorges International Corp. has sent a letter to Nepal's government expressing concern over a parliamentary committee order for the company to suspend work while it investigates possible irregularities in the granting of the firm's license.
Hydroelectric power plant, Nepal
                                                                                    Image via Shutterstock

Associated Press reports that the company warned in the letter that it could pull out of the project.

The parliamentary Natural Resources and Means Committee said it was probing the government's decision to grant the project to the Chinese company without calling for international bidding.

The company signed an agreement with Nepal's government last month to build the Seti Hydroelectric power plant in northwest Nepal.

Under the agreement, the Chinese company would pay for 75 per cent of the total cost of the project, while the remainder would be paid for by Nepal's state utility company. The project is estimated to cost $1.6bn.

Nepal currently faces up to 13 hours of rolling blackouts every day because its power plants can't meet demand. Imported power from neighboring India is not enough to make up the shortfall.

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