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Upper Arun Hydro Electric project is a Run-of-River type hydroelectric project with optimized generating capacity of 1061 MW capacity with 6 hours peaking. The cabinet meeting on 2075/06/05 decided to develop UAHEP through the Upper Arun Hydroelectric Limited (UAHEL), the subsidiary company of NEA established on 2073/10/12. Government of Nepal has included UAHEP as the Game Changer Project (GCP) among hydroelectric projects due to its relatively low cost of generation and availability of abundant firm energy.

Feasibility Study of the Project was approved in June 9, 2021 as was prepared by JV of Changjiang Surrvey, Planning, Design and Research Co. Ltd, China with Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Ltd, Taiwan in association with Soil Test (P.) Limited, Nepal.

The Consultant, JV KYONG DONG Engineering Co. Ltd. & Nepal consult (P) Ltd. in association Total Management Services Pvt. Ltd. for assignment of “Detailed Engineering Design, Tender Document Preparation and Construction Supervision and Contract Management of Access Road Construction for UAHEP has submitted the Draft Design Report and Bidding Document.

For Environmental study of the Project, three consultants namely, Environment and Social Studies Department (ESSD) of NEAEnvironmental Resources Management (ERM) and NEFIN (Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities) are involved. ESSD is responsible for the IEE of Camp Facility, Fishery Baseline Study and EIA of Access road.


The feasibility study of this project was carried out by the JV of Morrison Knudsen Coorporation in association with Lahmeyer Ineternational, Tokyo Electric Power Services Co. and NEPECON on behalf of NEA on 1991. Revised study of this Project was carried out by NEA in the year 2011.

Location and Access

Upper Arun Hydroelectric Project (UAHEP) lies on the upper reach of the Arun River and is one of the most attractive projects in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal. It is peaking run of river type, located in Sankhuwasabha District about 200 km Arial distance east of Kathmandu. The dam site lies in a narrow gorge about 350m upstream of the Chepuwa khola near about to Chepuwa village. The powerhouse lies at Chhongryang, nearby the confluence of Arun River with Leksuwa Khola.

The Access to the project starts from the Koshi Highway which is now under construction by Government of Nepal. Access Road with total length of 24 km need to be constructed to reach the Headworks site along the left bank of the river. The Access Road consist of 1.7 km long road tunnel.

Power Evacuation

The power from UAHEP is planned to be evacuated to national grid by the construction of 6 km long 400 KV double circuit transmission line to the 400 KV substation located at Haitar Sankhuwasabha and the Length of TL will be 5.79 km.

Financial Arrangement

As preparation of the projects for implementation, the study of UAHEP & IKHPP (Detailed Engineering design and Environmental and Social Study) is being carried out with the financial assistance of World Bank (WB) under Power Sector Reform and Sustainable Development Hydropower Projects (PSRSHDP). The World Bank has provided a credit of US$ 13.1 Million on the proposed credit number 5728- NP for the preparation of Upper Arun and Ikhuwa Khola Hydroelectric Projects. The credit has been sub-lent to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) as a subsidiary loan under the subsidiary loan agreement between GoN and NEA.

The Detailed Engineering Design and Construction Supervision of the Access Road for the UAHEP is being carried with the funding of Government of Nepal.

Survey License

The survey license for generation of UAHEP has been granted to UAHEL at September 11, 2019 (2076/05/25) from Department of Electricity Development, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.

Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)


Economic Indicators

Total static project cost (CAPEX) = 1,377.31 MUSD

Static cost per kW = 1,324 USD/kW

LCOE = 3.9 USc/kWh

NPV (IC=10%) = MUSD 577

B/C = 1.8

Main Physical Features

Gross Head: 508.3 m

Design Discharge: 235 m3/sec

Installed Capacity: 27.0 MW (3×9 mw)

Total Annual Energy: 4,512 GWh (dry season energy 27.7%)

Dam: 100 m

Headrace Tunnel: 8.4 KM

Sediment Bypass Tunnel: 1.4KM

Surge Tank: 20 m diameter

Pressure drop shaft: 484 m high and 7.3 m diameter

Penstock: 39 m long before bifurcation

Turbine: 6 units of Pelton

Powerhouse Type: underground Powerhouse

Powerhouse Size: 230.05 m×25.7 m×59.43 m

Construction Schedule

The construction period of infrastructures is of 68 Months excluding the access road period of 27 Months and is planned to start from Dec 2023.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Examination (ESIA), Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and Land Acquisition

Scoping Document and ToR for EIA of UAHEP has been approved from the Ministry of Forest and Environment on 2077/04/15 and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is ongoing and is ready for Public Hearing.

The Environment and Social studies of the project are being carried out complying the WB and EIB requirements including Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) of the local indigenous Community. The ES Consultant has submitted all the draft reports which are being reviewed by the NEA/WB/ESPOE. The land acquisition officer has been appointed for the start of land Acquisition after the Approval of EIA. 

EIA of Access Road has been approved by DOED and review from Ministry is under Process.