According to a source, the World Bank is supporting the Nepal Electricity Authority’s (NEA) project to install a 25 MW solar plant. The contract of the project is to be given to a Chinese company, Raijin Energy Co.
The World Bank had agreed to provide $130 million to the government to build solar stations to reduce electric shortages, in early 2015. Amount of $37 million has already been designated to establish solar plants at Devighat and Trishuli in Nuwakot district.
Although, the construction hasn’t begun due to controversy in the selection of the contractor. The former NEA managing director, Mukesh Raj Kafle decided to hire a Chinese company to build the project.
The company was later declared unqualified by a committee of international experts. Due to which the new NEA managing director, Kulman Ghising decided to give the contract to Raijin Energy Co. But, as per PAC, the Rs 3.7 billion quoted by Raijin Energy Co was Rs. 680 million higher than earlier contract.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) citing that it was against the procurement law directed NEA to scrap the contract. Currently, the contract is under suspension. However, the World Bank defends NEA stating that the procurement policies and practices adopted by 189 member-governments of the World Bank Group and the funding agreement signed with Nepal were followed.