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Indian firm to build Nepal’s largest hydro plant

Nepal’s government has signed an agreement with Indian infrastructure firm the GMR Group to develop a 900 MW hydropower project.

The Upper Karnali HPP will be located on the Karnali river (pictured) in Nepal’s Surkhet, Dailekh and Achham districts. When completed, it will be Nepal’s largest hydropower plant. It also represents the GMR Group‘s largest investment (around $1.5bn) outside India.

Financial close is expected by September 2016, and the plant is planned to come online by September 2021.

Nepal’s Electricity Authority will hold a 27 per cent stake in the project and will assume full ownership after 25 years. In the meantime, 12 per cent of the plant’s output has been reserved for Nepal, with GMR set to build a separate powerhouse to generate 2 MW for villagers in the three districts.

“The development of the Upper Karnali project will be beneficial for both countries leveraging on each other’s strengths and resources,” said G M Rao, GMR Group chairman (pictured).