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Nepal names new developer for 1,200-MW Budhi Gandaki project


Progress on Nepal's 1,200-MW Budhi Gandaki is at least temporarily back on track following the government's appointment of the Nepal Electricity Authority as its new developer.

NEA takes over for the China Gezhouba Group Corp., which was pulled from the US$2.5 billion hydropower project earlier this month for what the government called "irregularities."

The decision to put the state-owned NEA in charge of Budhi Gandaki (also spelled as "Gangaki") was made by the Nepal's cabinet earlier this week, though it could be tenuous with the country's general elections coming next week.

Should the Communist Party of Nepal claim power, it has already promised to give development of the project back to China Gezhouba.

CGGC was originally awarded the contact to build Budhi Gandaki in May under an engineering, procurement, construction and finance model.

The project been pitched by the Nepalese government for more than a decade as a means of both alleviating the country's energy deficit and decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels.

The plant and its reservoir are to be located in the Dhading and Gorkha districts.

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