Kathmandu, May 11 (IANS) Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and his visiting Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly laid the foundation stone for the Arun III Hydropower Project remotely from Kathmandu on Friday.
The much-awaited 900-megawatt hydropower project was inaugurated during a joint press conference organised at Battisputali-based Dwarika's Hotel here.
The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) on Thursday granted an electricity generation licence to SJVN Arun III Power Development Company to generate power from the Arun III Hydropower Project located in eastern Nepal.
The IBN awarded the permit to the Indian developer in line with the decision of the 30th meeting of IBN's board of directors chaired by Oli on April 28. SJVN paid the board Rs 5 million as licence fee.
The foundation stone laying ceremony was originally planned for April when Oli visited New Delhi, but it was put off after Nepal said preparatory work had not been completed.
The project has completed major tasks like acquisition of private land and is in the process of acquiring public forest land.
According to the IBN, Nepal will receive Rs 348 billion over 25 years from the project.
The project developer will also provide 21.9 per cent of the energy free of cost, which is worth Rs 155 billion, plus another Rs 107 billion in royalties.
Modi arrived in Nepal on Friday on a two-day visit at the invitation of Oli.