The 20 MW Chilime hydropower project is going to set a new direction for the development of Nepal's hydropower. The Rs 2.32 billion project is being constructed at Chilime River in Rasuwa district, and is expected to start test generation from March this year.
An important aspect of this project has been the exclusive use of Nepali capital and manpower. The state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) owns 51 percent equity in the project and NEA employees own 24 percent of the shares. The rest will be floated on the general market.
The project comes as an example of a successful venture by the Nepali technicians and experts in the country's hydropower sector, otherwise monopolised by foreign technicians and experts. It also sends the message that Nepal is capable of funding national projects without incurring international debts and the conditions that come attached with it.
Through Chilime, the NEA has learned it need not buy costly electricity from independent power producers (IPPs). NEA will buy power from Chilime for Rs 3 per unit-less than half of what it pays to IPPs.
Finally, we have a truly Nepali endeavour to be proud of.