Washington: The World Bank has approved a $400 million loan for the development of a hydropower plant in Himachal Pradesh.
The loan is to be provided to state-owned power company Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN) for developing the plant on the Satluj river which will provide renewable, low carbon energy to the Northern Electricity Grid.
“The 412 MW Rampur Hydropower Project supports the Government of India’s plan to develop hydropower to help meet the country’s energy needs and thus provide all its citizens with access to electricity,” the Bank said in a statement.
The plant is expected to generate about 1,770 million units of electricity each year, enough to electrify a million household.
The run-of-river plant requires no dam or reservoir for its construction and so will not involve any inundation of land; nor will the scheme extract any additional water from the river, as it will reuse the water used by the existing upstream Nathpa Jhakri power plant.
The social and environmental impacts on local communities are thus low compared to other plants of this size, the Bank said.
SJVN is a joint venture between the state government and the centre. The loan is provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and has 20 years to maturity including a five-year grace period.