Millennium Challenge Account Nepal (MCA-N) – the implementing agency of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the US published a global tender today to construct 315-km long transmission lines. The US government-funded MCA-N – issuing a public notice today – called for bids to construct the infrastructure.
According to the notice, the MCA-N has divided the total construction into three sections. “A 400 kV transmission line will be constructed along Lapsiphedi-Ratamate-New Hetauda stretch measuring 117-km,” the notice reads, adding that a 90-km long 400 kV transmission line in Ratamate-Damauli and New Damauli-New Butwal segment will also be expedited under the project. “The MCA-N has set a deadline of March 27, 2023 to apply for the contract.”
The MCC Compact, which was approved by the Parliament after a huge controversy, has provided Nepal a grant of $500 million to construct high-powered transmission lines and to upscale the highways. The government will be investing $130 million from its side in the five-year long projects under the MCC Compact.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a bilateral US foreign aid agency established by the US Congress in 2004. It is an independent agency separate from the State Department and USAID. The government signed the MCC grant in 2017 after determining its goals to modernise Nepal's energy and transportation sectors with the hope of helping nearly 80 per cent of the total population. Though, signed in 2017, it took the parliament five years to ratified MCC compact as the compact was ratified on February 27, 2022, with a majority with certain interpretive declaration through understanding between all national parties, due to huge opposition from several quarters of the society.
The MCC-Nepal Compact that aims to increase the availability and reliability of electricity, maintain road quality, and facilitate regional trade– helping to spur investments, accelerate economic growth, and reduce poverty, is a five-year term fixed project, once it starts its work.