Essel-Clean Solu Hydropower Pvt ltd (ECS)

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Essel Clean Solu Hydropower Private Limited is a company established for the development, construction and operations of a hydropower station in North East of Nepal at the Solu river. At the end of the 35 years concession period the project assets will be transferred to the Government of Nepal. The Lower Solu project comprises a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant in the Solukhumbu district in Nepal. With a capacity of 82MW, the project is the largest private sector hydropower project in Nepal. The favourable geographical conditions of the project location allows it to achieve its 500 meter water head drop without a large dam or reservoir and with a tunnel of only 4.3km, resulting in a small footprint and relatively low construction costs for the power generated. Power evacuation is guaranteed by Government of Nepal. The project is forecast to create over 1000 jobs during construction and operations and contribute to significant development of the project area.

When operational, the project will provide electricity to an estimated 3 million people, helping to alleviate the current power shortages in the country. Severe power shortage - with power cuts of up to 18 hours a day in the dry season - is a serious bottleneck to sustainable economic growth in the country. Improving access to electricity in a timely and cost-efficient manner is considered one of the most significant development challenges facing Nepal today. As the first internationally financed IPP in the country, Lower Solu is paving the way for others to follow.

In view of the earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015, reliable access to electricity becomes also crucial to the reconstruction of the country. The project area suffered only mild tremors and no damage to life or property were registered.


BIO is participating in a loan arranged by the Dutch development bank, FMO, under the risk sharing agreement between the two development finance institutions.


  • Investment amount (€):

    $20M

  • Contract signature :

    2014

  • Nature of intervention :

    Senior loan

  • Development impacts :

    • 1 — Provide electricity to estimated 3 million people
    • 2 — Contribute to local development in the area, by providing financial support to local primary schools and by making available drinking water facilities and medical services to the local population

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