Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has asked the Energy Ministry for the implementation rights of the Betan Karnali and Bheri-1 hydropower projects reports, The Kathmandu Post.
The Energy Ministry recently issued the survey licenses for the Betan Karnali project to Betan Karnali Sanchayakarta Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of the Employees Provident Fund, and for the Bheri-1 project to Vidhyut Utpadan Company.
As per the Investment Board Act 2011, IBN has the sole authority to implement projects of 500 MW and above. Betan Karnali and Bheri-1 projects, both located in western Nepal, have a capacity of 688 MW and 617 MW respectively.
A source on the board is reported to have said, “As the installed capacity of the two projects is well above 500 MW, we have asked the ministry to send the files of those project to IBN. As the survey licenses of both projects have already been issued, we will take them from here.”
The Energy Ministry has not replied to IBN yet and has however consulted the Law Ministry regarding this matter. They will take a decision after the consultation.
This is not the first time that the Energy Ministry has issued such survey licenses. The Energy Ministry had previously issued a survey license for the 650 MW Tamakoshi 3 to TBI Holding on October 12. This is done while IBN was preparing to call international bids for the project. IBN then wrote a petition filed by lawyer Subash Budhathoki arguing that IBN should implement the project. This license has currently been put on hold by a Supreme Court order.