November 17, 2017 / 11:58 AM / a year ago

India's NHPC could bid for Nepal's $2.5 billion power project pulled from China

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian power company NHPC Ltd could bid for a $2.5 billion hyrdropower project in Nepal, its chairman told Reuters, after Kathmandu canceled a deal with China Gezhouba Group Corp.

China and India jostle for influence over infrastructure projects in Nepal and the deal with China was scrapped after it was criticized for being handed to the company without any competitive bidding.

State-run NHPC could look at developing what will be the country’s biggest hydropower plant, its Chairman Balraj Joshi told Reuters.

“It is too early to talk about funding as firstly the techno-economical parameters of the project would have to be studied,” Joshi said on Friday.

With elections in Nepal scheduled to begin later this month, the project is not likely to be discussed by the governments anytime soon, a senior power ministry official said.

Among other projects in Nepal, a 750 megawatts (MW) project is to be built on the western part of the country by China’s state-owned Three Gorges International Corp, while two Indian companies - GMR Group and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited - are set to build one 900 MW hydropower plant each, mainly to be exported to India.

Writing by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Elaine Hardcastle

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