Govt inks MoU with NEEPCO for developing 2 hydel projects

ITANAGAR, 14 Aug: The state government on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) for developing two hydroelectric projects with a combined generating capacity of 210 mw power.

“The projects to be developed are the 120 mw Nafra (West Kameng) and the 90 mw New Meting (Tawang) hydroelectric projects,” the NEEPCO stated in a release.

Hydropower Commissioner Prashant S Lokhande signed the MoU on behalf of the state government, in the presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein.

The NEEPCO’s Chief Managing Director (CMD) VK Singh inked the documents on behalf of the power developer.

After the signing of the MoU, the total projects allotted to the NEEPCO are six, with a total installed capacity of 1,325 mw. Out of the six projects, the 405 mw Ranganadi, the 110 mw Pare and the 600 mw Kameng hydropower projects were commissioned in 2002, 2018 and 2020-21, respectively.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that “the central public sector undertakings will be the harbinger of investment in Arunachal,” and commended the performance of the NEEPCO in developing hydropower projects in the state.

Khandu said that at least a dozen more hydropower projects with a power generating capacity of 7,800 mw “are in the advanced stage for allotment to the NEEPCO,” which he said would bring an investment of around Rs 80,000 crores to the state “and lead to tremendous all-round development of the state.”

He said that Arunachal gets 12 percent free power from the three hydro plants commissioned by the NEEPCO, in addition to a host of other benefits like education, health and entrepreneurial opportunities around the project areas.

“To harness the hydro potential in the state, the government had allotted hydro projects to several private developers and CPSUs through the MoA route. However, most of the private developers failed to implement the projects. The state government then started terminating the MoA for dismal performance in executing the projects. So far, the state government has terminated 40 such projects,” said the CM.

He requested the NEEPCO CMD to resolve the issue of the 330 mw Kurung HEP, the MoA for which was signed in 2015 but the implementation has not yet started. He assured to provide all necessary assistance in developing the projects allotted to the NEEPCO.

“The hydro potential in the state should not be on paper only but it should be developed physically,” he said.

The CM informed that the NHPC has scheduled to commission two units of the 2,000 mw Subansiri HEP by August 2022, and to fully commission the project by August 2023.

Mein requested the NEEPCO to commission the projects being developed by it on time.

Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar requested the NEEPCO CMD to liaise with the DCs of the two districts and allot contract works “not involving expertise” to local contractors.

The NEEPCO CMD said that the request for allotment of eight other hydro projects, totalling approximately 7,800 mw, “is under consideration of the state government.”

He committed to deploy staff at the site “to take up the allotted project in full swing with immediate effect.”

The NEEPCO’s Technical Director HK Deka and CGM (Corporate Planning) A Choudhury were also present. (With input from CM’s PR Cell)