June 20: Hydropower projects promoted by the private sector have incurred an estimated loss of Rs 10 billion due to the floods and landslides that occurred in various districts last week. A preliminary study conducted by the Independent Power Producers’ Association of Nepal (IPPAN) has estimated the loss at around Rs 10 billion.
Krishna Prasad Acharya, chairman of IPPAN, claimed that the floods have caused a loss of Rs 10 billion to hydropower projects operated by the private sector.
"Our preliminary study has pointed to the damage of this scale,” he told New Business Age, adding, "We have demanded the government to form a high-level mechanism to study the losses caused by the floods."
Hydropower projects have been badly affected by last week's floods and landslides. Particularly, the under-construction projects have been more affected. Projects have suffered damages like sweeping away of construction materials, inundation of power house and destruction of dam. Similarly, transmission line towers have collapsed and roads connecting to the project area have been destroyed.
According to IPPAN , 42 MW Supermardi Hydropower Project being constructed in Kaski has incurred significant damage. Acharya said that most of the construction materials have been washed away by the floods. Along with the formation of high-level mechanism to study into the details of loss incurred, IPPAN has also sought for appropriate relief packages to the affected projects.
Issuing a press statement on Friday, June 18, IPPAN has urged the government to set up a high-level mechanism. IPPAN has demanded to form the committee representing the ministries of finance, energy and home affairs. Acharya said that the committee should also have representation from private energy producers.
He said that appropriate relief should be distributed after studying the extent of the damage incurred. "This time, the damage incurred is not minimal. If the loss amounted to two to four million rupees, we could have handled it. But the loss amounts to billions. So the government needs to bring necessary relief package for the affected projects."
According to IPPAN, the under-construction projects might be delayed by at least one year due to the loss incurred. The relief packages should also address this issue.
IPPAN has also demanded immediate reconstruction of the destroyed roads leading to the project site and repair of transmission lines damaged by the floods.