Salleri Chialsa Electricity Company Limited (SCECO) at Salleri, Solukhumbu was registered in Falgun 2047 (February 1991) as a public share holder’s company. Swiss Development Co-operation (SDC) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) have equal preference (investment) share. The ordinary share holder representing the decision making body of the company are local people 34%, SDC and NEA with 33% each.
The history of the Salleri Chialsa Project began about 60 years ago, after the people’s uprising in Tibet and its suppression by the Chinese. At that time, thousands of Tibetan refugees moved into eastern Nepal and settled in the district of Solukhumbu. With aid from various international organizations, Government of Nepal started a program in 1960 to help resettle the refugees and founded (among others) the Tibetan Community of Chialsa. Most of Tibetan families in the community were economically dependent on handicrafts.
The handicraft center, with its carpet factory, where the raw wool was preprocessed, washed, spun, dyed and woven into carpets, was the most important source of income for these Tibetans.
The first studies were made by the Swiss Association for Technical Assistance (SATA) in 1960. The small hydro power station was constructed in 1982 on the Solukhola River, with Swiss Aid, designated as Salleri Chialsa Hydropower Project. Government of Nepal and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) agreed to bring into existence a shareholder company, Salleri Chialsa Electricity Company Ltd (SCECO), through the Salleri Electricity Utilization Project (SELUP).
The electricity supply system was designed and implemented by ITECO/Switzerland. The power plant, situated on the Solukhola (Solu), is a classical run-of river scheme designed for 400kW hydraulic gross capacity.
In many respects, SCECO is a pioneer project. Many of the political concepts in the new Hydro Power Development Policy 1992 of Government of Nepal were prepared and first confirmed through the setting-up SCECO (shareholder company, foreign share holding, tariff authority, operation mode, staffing etc.).