China vs. India for Nepal hydropower project
A hydropower project in Nepal is being eyed by three Indian companies and a joint venture and three Chinese companies.
According to the Indo-Asian News Service, Larsen and Toubro, and Mumbai's Jyoti Structures Ltd and KEC International Ltd are the three Indian companies that have been shortlisted from nearly a dozen for turnkey operations including laying transmission lines and building a substation for the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project, Nepal's biggest hydel project being built with domestic funding.
The Indian joint venture in the fray is partnered by Spain's Cobras Instalaciones Y Servicios and the New Delhi-based Aravali Infrapower Ltd.
The three pre-qualified Chinese companies are the Sinohydro Corporation, Central China Power Grid International Economic and Trade Company, and Shanghai Electric Power Transmission and Distribution Engineering.
To be built on the Tamakoshi river in Dolakha district in northern Nepal, the project is being developed by Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd or UTHL, a subsidiary of the state-run Nepal Electricity Authority or NEA.
Upper Tamakoshi, with an estimated cost of over US$492.6 million, is being funded by NEA, UTHL and Nepal's Employees' Provident Fund, that is providing a long-term loan of US$140.7 million.
Sinohydro has an edge over its competitors, having already been awarded the contract for the main civil construction work. This entails building a tunnel, dam and powerhouse.
The project is expected to be completed by 2015.