Kathmandu, May 21
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed back the completion date of nearly five dozen hydropower projects with total installed capacity of 3,000 megawatts that are under construction through private investment.
All construction activities of the under-construction projects have come to a standstill due to the lockdown imposed by the government to control the spread of the coronavirus contagion.
The Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN) has informed that all the projects under construction and those that have reached the construction stage with investment from the private sector have been postponed for at least a year.
According to IPPAN, since all construction works have been stopped the projects that were ready to start construction works by raising the required investment cannot move forward at the moment. Similarly, the detailed engineering work of the projects that were in the study phase has also come to a standstill.
Kumar Pandey, vice president of IPPAN, informed that nearly Rs 700 billion has been invested by domestic and foreign investors to build the aforementioned projects. This investment is about 25 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Due to the pandemic all construction activities have been halted and the projects under construction have to pay Rs 50 billion in interests to banks and financial institutions. He mentioned that this was adding on the financial burden of the developers.
According to IPPAN, the government’s plan to generate 15,
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