ADB funds Nepal power plant
By Sarah Ann McCay26 February 2013
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to loan US$ 150 million to Nepal as part financing for a US$ 500 million hydropower project, 150 km west of Kathmandu.
Tanahu Hydropower Limited is to develop the 140 MW capacity plant on the Seti River in Tanahu district. The new plant will generate electricity year round. During the dry winter months of November to April, the plant will be fed from a 7.26 km2 reservoir, making it Nepal’s first major hydropower plant with water storage capacity and a sediment flushing system.
Electricity demand is growing at +10% a year in Nepal, but lack of investment means supplies are not keeping up. Blackouts of up to 18 hours a day in the dry season are common as the country’s total installed power generation capacity is just 700 MW.
In addition to building the hydropower plant and a transmission system, the Tanahu project will also provide 17,636 homes in the area with direct connections to the national power grid. Only around one-third of households in Nepal are connected to the electricity distribution grid, with connection rates much lower in rural areas.