Asian Development Bank extends $150m for 140MW hydro plant in Nepal

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to lend $150m for the development of a 140MW hydropower plant in Nepal.

Proposed for construction on the Seti River, the facility will be located 150km west of Kathmandu in Tanahu district and requires a total investment of $500m.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency, the European Investment Bank and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will also share the cost of the plant.

Once completed, the hydropower plant will generate electricity throughout year, enough to power a minimum of 17,636 households in the region.

ADB’s South Asia department energy division director Yongping Zhai noted that Nepal has an energy crisis that is adversely affecting economic prospects.

“This energy project is a means to stop this crisis,” Zhai added. Demand for electricity in the country, which is witnessing blackouts of up to 18 hours a day in the dry season, is growing at an annual rate of 10%.

The mountain ranges of Nepal hold significant resources for hydropower and the nation’s current installed capacity of 700MW represents just 1.5% of that potential.