The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement to provide $60m in financing to Nepal Water and Energy Development Company (NWEDC) to help build and operate the 216MW Upper Trishuli-1 Hydropower Project.

Located on the Trishuli River near Kathmandu, the power plant is expected to help the country to use its renewable hydro resources and increase its energy security as well as minimise imports of electricity.

ADB South Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia Private Sector Operations Department Infrastructure Finance director Shantanu Chakraborty said: “This is a landmark transaction that will provide strong incentives for further private sector investment in Nepal’s energy sector.

“To ensure it provides sustainable benefits, this project will adopt international best practices in safeguards management and will also introduce measures to promote gender equality including job opportunities for women and better access to education, health care, amenities, and infrastructure.”

Once operational, the hydropower plant is expected to generate more than 1,200GWh of clean electricity, which will be supplied to the national grid.

The financing also includes a loan from the ADB-administered Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II). The Canadian government created CFPS II to encourage private investment for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects in the Asia Pacific regions.

Upper Trishuli-1 Hydropower Project is co-financed by a number of groups, including the International Finance Corporation, Export-Import of Korea and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.