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India’s Jammu & Kashmir could see 2,000 MW of hydropower capacity developed

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Officials from Jammu and Kashmir Bank (J&K Bank), and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) met in Mumbai, India, on Dec. 27 to discuss a joint venture to finance nine hydropower projects in the Indian state of J&K that could have a combined total installed capacity of about 2,000 MW.

Neither the amount each organization may possibly contribute nor information for the exact potential project locations or commissioning dates was immediately disclosed. But, estimates to complete all nine projects is about US$3.7 billion.

The Mint is reporting senior executives from both institutions said the two institutions will collaborate to manage the endeavor that would be a 50-50 partnership initially spanning a 3-year period.

“We are proposing to conceive a joint venture between J&K Bank and IL&FS, which will undertake the responsibility of supporting the implementation of some of the identified hydro projects in J&K,” said Ramesh Chander Bawa, IL&FS managing director and chief executive officer.

J&K Finance Minister, Haseeb Ahmed Drabu, said J&K has around 20,000 MW of unexploited power and a partnership like this could develop projects resulting in the state’s ability to export power.

Earlier this year, India participated in the Permanent Indus Commission meeting with Pakistan on March 20 and 21 in Lahore, Pakistan.

India attended the meeting based on the 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan and the potential for conflict over water rights between the two countries.

Of the projects the countries discussed, two are located in J&K: the 1,000-MW Pakul Dul and 43-MW Lower Kalnai on Lower Kalnai Nalla, a tributary of Chenab River.

Pakal Dul is located along the Marusader River and the government said it will help reduce the power shortage in the northern region of India and partly utilize storage provisions of the IWT. HydroWorld.com reported that the country's Union Cabinet gave investment approval for the project in September 2014.

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