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Chinese-left hydropower plant in Nepal will be developed by an Indian business

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Nepal announces an agreement with India’s NHPC Ltd to develop the plant after China’s Three Gorges International Corp withdraws.

Nepal has inked an agreement with an Indian business to build a hydropower facility in the country’s west, years after a Chinese firm pulled out, officials said.

Nepal has opened its rivers to foreign players, believing that they have the capacity to generate more than 42,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power, in order to boost its economy and export electricity in order to reduce its $13 billion trade deficit.

Officials announced on Thursday that India’s NHPC Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allowing it to explore aspects such as feasibility, environmental effects, land inundation, and construction costs for two projects: West Seti (750 megawatts) and SR 6. (450 megawatts).

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Both plants will be built on the West Seti River in Nepal’s least developed far west.

Three Gorges International Corp, China’s largest hydropower developer, was previously lined up to create the West Seti plant, but Nepal abandoned the arrangement in 2017 amid contract negotiations, according to officials.

“After decades of delays, we would not have dived into another uncertainty,” Sushil Bhatta, chief executive officer of the state-run Investment Board Nepal, told Reuters.

“NHPC has an excellent track record of establishing such projects in similar terrain in neighboring places in India and has the ability to assure India’s market for energy,” he said, hoping for further projects in the region.

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