Reliance, SJVN get Nepal nod for $1.44 billion investments

The Nepal Investment Board headed by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has given its nod to two Indian groups to $1.44 billion (Nepalese Rs14,400 crore) in cement and hydropower projects.

The NIB has cleared the decks for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group to invest NRs4,000 crore ($400 million) to set up a cement plant with an annual capacity of 2.3 million tonnes in southern Nepal.

The Reliance Group will soon conduct the study for constructing the plant in central or eastern Terai region of the southern plain.

Similarly, the board has also approved the project development agreement for the construction of 900-MW Arun Third Project being developed by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN). The Indian company will invest NRs10,400 crore on the project.

As per the draft agreement, Nepal will receive 21.9 per cent or 197 MW of electricity free of cost from the project, besides revenue and other facilities.

Besides, Nepal will get a total economic benefit of $3.5 billion, which includes royalty fees, tax and free power from the implementation of the period over the concessional period of 24 years.

The formal agreement for developing the project is likely to be signed next week during the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.