Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, Managing Director, Druk Green Power Corporation Ltd and shri RP Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SJVN Ltd signed the Joint Venture Shareholders Agreement for the 600 MW Kholongchhu Hydroelectric project in Thimphu on September 30, 2014, in presence of Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk, Minister for Economic Affairs. Shri Gautam Bambawale, Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Shri Mukesh Jain, secretary (Hydro) of the Ministry of Power, Governemnt of India, and other senior officers of the two governemnts.
The conclusion of the negotiations and the signing of the shareholders Agreement was the last hurdle to be crossed between the Joint Venture Partners (DGPC and SJVNL) and it paves the way forward to start the actual implementation of the Kholongchhu project.
At the signing ceremony, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the conclusion of the shareholders Agreement for the Kholongchhu project was a signficant event in the co-operation between India and Bhutan in the hydropower sector and more so for the six eastern Dzongkhags and especially for the people of Trashi Yangtse. With the construction of the Kholongchhu project now well on its way to getting started.
Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the two governments could now move the other three JV projects (180 MW Bunakha, 570 MW Wangchhu and 770 MW Chamkharchhu) forward. Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk highlighted that such hydroelectric projects were very important for the socio-economic development of bhutan and also contributed to meeting the huge enegry demands of the fast growing Indian economy.
The negotiation of the shareholders Agreement had taken a little more than three months that the two governments had given the JV partners to conclude the Agreement after the two governments had signed the inter-governmental Agreement for JV projects in April 2014.
The 50-50 shareholdings that had been agreed to made for difficult negotiations on how the Joint Venture Company would be managed, especially in deadlock situations. However, both the JV partners had been very forthcoming and all issues were resolved in the spirit of the trust and confidence that is model of the excellent co-operation in the hydro-power sector between the two governments.