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Nepal Announces Plan to Attract Hydropower Investors

The Nepali Investment Board is hoping a recently approved hydropower development plan will help attract more than US$6 billion in investments.

The Project Development Agreement (PDA) would apply to projects larger than 500 MW in capacity and would be immediately applicable to four large hydroelectric facility proposals.

Nepalese officials say they hope the PDA will result in as much as 3,000 MW of added capacity and fuel industrial development. 

"Harnessing Nepal's hydro resources for Nepal's socio-economic transformation has always been my number one economic priority," says Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari.

The new PDA template is a response to a previous model that was rejected by developers and financiers in 2010. The recent plan is intended to rectify the previous one by including provisions to expedite projects through bureaucratic delays.

"We are now on a fast track to move on project agreements that will unlock the country's vast hydro potential and solve the load shedding problem," says Investment Board executive Radhesh Pant. reported in July 2011 that a unit of the World Bank was seeking expressions of interest from consultants to oversee two run-of-river projects in the country's Lamjung District.

Nepal's government adopted a proposal in June 2011 that says the country will not approve any hydropower projects that would export the bulk of their generated power.

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