Bids on three mid-size power projects in the Himalayan nation are expected to be opened in the coming weeks. The projects, the 300MW Upper Karnali project, the 402MW Arun III and the 600MW Budhi Gandaki, just a fraction Nepal’s huge hydro power potential, are attracting interest from major Indian players along with those from China.

Nepal’s finance minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, addressing the second South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) business leaders conclave recently, focussed on further utilisation of the country’s water resources, stating that cooperation in the energy sector could meet increasing demand in the region.

“As the power sector was earlier in government sector, less than one per cent has been tapped. Now we have opened it to foreign investors and have been receiving good response from India,” Mahat added.

Companies such as India’s Tata Power, Reliance Energy, L&T, GMR Group and JP Group are understood to be interested in bidding for the projects.