ADB to release first tranche of loan to Himachal soon

January 29th, 2009 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Jan 29 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will soon release the first instalment of a multimillion-dollar loan for the construction of four medium to large run-of-river hydropower generating plants in Himachal Pradesh, a senior official said Thursday.“ADB said it will release the first instalment of the sanctioned loan of $800 million shortly,” Himachal Pradesh Power Corp (HPPCL) managing director Tarun Kapoor told IANS.

He said an eight-member ADB team reviewed progress on the projects over the past one week. The team left for Delhi Thursday.

“The team trained our staff in financial and administrative management and project monitoring so that these could be completed within the timeframe,” he said. The projects are targeted to be executed by 2014.

The lender and the state government entered into an agreement last November, under which the bank sanctioned the loan to execute four hydropower projects that will generate 808 MW for the hill state.

The projects being financed are Sawara-Kuddu (111 MW) in Shimla district, Kashang (195 MW) in Kinnaur district, Sainj (100 MW) in Kullu district and Shongtong-Karchham (402 MW), also in Kinnaur.

The total estimated cost of these projects is $1.5 billion, out of which ADB has financed $800 million in the form of a multi-tranche financing facility, which will be allocated based on the readiness of the project.

The loan has a 25-year repayment period.

Kapoor said construction work has commenced on the Sawara-Kuddu and Kashang projects.

He said a Rs.1.5-billion (Rs.150-crore) civil work contract for the Sawara-Kuddu project has been awarded to the Mumbai-based Patel Engineering. Kirloskar Construction of Chennai and Coastal Joint Venture of Hyderabad have been working on this project since 2006.

Similarly, a Rs.3-billion civil work project for the Kashang plant would be awarded soon to Hindustan Construction Co. The Sawara-Kuddu project will be commissioned in 2011.

Besides these four projects, the power corporation has three other mega projects in hand, including the Rs.27-billion (Rs.2,700-crore) Renuka Dam project that will provide drinking water to Delhi and generate 40 MW power for the hill state.

The government has begun acquiring private land for construction of the dam.

Himachal Pradesh has abundant water resources, with five major rivers flowing from the western Himalayas. Its power generation potential is 20,415 MW, about 25 percent of India’s total hydropower potential, out of which facilities have been developed to generate only 6,370 MW.

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