The government has decided to again award the contract for development of the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), which has a dodgy record in Nepal and is blacklisted in other countries, without free competition.
The Cabinet meeting Friday has instructed the Energy Ministry to sign agreement for the 1200 MW project to the Chinese company which had applied for the project with the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).
The OPMCM had instructed the Energy Ministry to bring a proposal about handing the project to CGGC. Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun accordingly took a proposal to the Friday’s Cabinet meeting.
Press coordinator to energy minister Roshan Khadka confirmed with Setopati that the Cabinet has instructed the ministry to award the project to CGGC and sign the agreement to that regard after finalizing the modality of construction.
The then Pushpa Kamal Dahal government on May 23, 2017, when Janardan Sharma was energy minister, had decided to award the project to CGGC under the engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model without a bidding process.
The decision to award the project to the Chinese company with a dodgy record in Nepal and blacklisted in other countries was widely condemned.
The subsequent Sher Bahadur Deuba government on November 13, 2017 had revoked the decision to award the contract to CGGC. It then decided to award the project to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
It had formed a committee under National Planning Commission (NPC) Vice Chairman Swarnim Wagle and including finance and energy secretaries, and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) governor and managing director of NEA to study about investment arrangements.