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8 Aug 2023 | Announcements

Request for proposals: Consultancy services for the preparation of a detailed feasibility study report on solar irrigation water-pumping projects

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About the request for proposals

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is issuing this request for proposals regarding consultancy services (substantially responsive to requirements) for the preparation of a detailed feasibility study (DFS) report on solar irrigation water-pumping projects at prioritised sites identified by the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), Government of Nepal (refer to Annex 1).



ICIMOD seeks to enable sustainable and resilient mountain development for improved and equitable livelihoods through knowledge generation and regional cooperation. ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge-sharing centre serving the eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.

Working in partnership with regional and international organisations, ICIMOD aims to influence policy and practices to meet environmental and livelihood challenges emerging in the HKH. ICIMOD provides a platform for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from the region and around the globe to generate and share knowledge, support evidence-based decision making, and encourage regional cooperation.

  • The closing date for the submission of this tender is 4:00 PM (Nepal Standard Time), 24 August 2023.
  • Proposals should include all costs in Nepali rupees, a timeline for the execution of the project, and a breakdown of durations for each assignment.
  • Proposals will only be received on or before the closing date.
  • Please submit your proposal with supporting documents.
  • Please submit questions related to the proposal to


Important dates
  • Deadline for preproposal inquiries: 15 August 2023 (Any inquiries after the date will not be entertained.)
  • Proposal submission deadline: 24 August 2023
  • Evaluation announcement: 31 August 2023 (tentative)
  • Finalisation of contract: 8 September 2023 (tentative)


Bidding process
  • The interested bidders are requested to submit their bid proposal, preferably in a sealed envelope addressed to Santosh Raj Pathak, Program Finance Unit by 4:00 PM (Nepal Standard Time), 24 August 2023. The bid should include copies of the following Company registration certificate.
    • Tax registration certificate (i.e. VAT/PAN registration)
    • Experience with at least two similar works as defined in the terms of reference
    • Tax clearance of the last 3 years including FY 2078/79
    • Bid validity period 60 days
  • The bidder shall quote the item rates as applicable for the work in a formal quotation with signature and stamp.
  • The bidder should indicate applicable VAT and inclusive of all taxes in the bid.

ICIMOD reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids without giving any reason whatsoever.

About the work

The agriculture sector in Nepal plays a crucial role in the country’s economy and livelihoods, with a significant portion of the population relying on it for their sustenance and income. However, despite agriculture’s importance, the penetration of renewable energy within the agriculture value chain remains alarmingly low (far below its potential) compared with that in other countries. This lack of renewable energy integration represents a missed opportunity to leverage climate adaptation measures in the sector.

The agricultural sector can greatly benefit from renewable energy solutions, particularly in irrigation and post-harvest activities such as storage and processing. To address this issue, it is imperative to develop customer-oriented renewable energy solutions tailored specifically to the agriculture value chain. Such solutions would not only improve the sector’s energy efficiency but also serve as effective climate adaptation measures, mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.

With the generous support of The Government of Norway, ICIMOD and AEPC are working together to promote climate-resilient agriculture by integrating renewable energy solutions. The primary objective of this project is to generate valuable evidence, facilitate the commercialisation of innovative solutions, enhance capacity-building efforts, and provide policy support for the widespread adoption of renewable energy solutions in agriculture. These terms of reference outline comprehensive feasibility studies to be conducted for solar-powered irrigation systems, which will be implemented in prioritised government projects overseen by AEPC.



This request for proposals concerns the selection of consultancy services (substantially responsive to requirements) for the preparation of a DFS report on solar irrigation water-pumping projects at prioritised sites identified by AEPC, Government of Nepal (refer to Annex 1).


Scope of work

Prepare the DFS report of the selected sites guided by the table of contents (refer to Annex 2). The DFS activities should be conducted through comprehensive consultation with respective local government including relevant stakeholders, disadvantaged group , women and should include but not be limited to the following:

  • Run a desk survey on the site pre-feasibility against relevant indicators, if the site proposed are not feasible alternative sites will be proposed.
  • Conduct surveys to understand the site characteristics, including a socioeconomic study of the market premise, product catchment area, and communities who may be impacted by the activities related to the subproject in terms of their gender, age, disability, caste/ethnicity, road and transportation access, etc.
  • Location of the subprojects, with alternate locations, land use and ownership
  • The DFS should incorporate past and potential climate and disaster risks by analysing relevant hazards, seismic maps, geotechnical maps, hydrological investigations, rainfall, drainage, floods, slope failures, and landslide risks, among others.
  • Conduct a site survey of the local conditions, including but not limited to: water source and availability of local permits; availability of existing infrastructures; suitable location for intake, collection tank, filter, and solar array; and site condition (risk of natural disasters, ease of logistics, etc.).
  • Design intake, main collection tank, distribution tanks, piping (transmission and distribution), vertical head from source to community, pump housing, etc. suitable for solar irrigation water-pumping projects guided by water requirement for irrigation. Conduct structural analysis of the major civil components if needed.
  • Design suitable electromechanical components for the solar PV pumped irrigation system (solar PV array, controller, pump, remote monitoring system, and balance of system).
  • Consider design solution optimisations such as use of local resources and technical aspects, including site-specific requirement. The designs shall include RCC structures, prefabricated structures, brick work, or stone missionary work as appropriate.
  • All the design works must comply with the requirements and standard code of practices required by the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) for similar facilities. The assessment report would include the following:
    • Detailed engineering specification
    • Production of detailed technical and working drawings using computer-aided design. The drawings shall provide adequate details for construction, bar-bending schedule, splicing schedule, and detailed material estimation considering the available steel sections in Nepal or nearby Indian cities.
    • Bill of quantities including ESMP cost
    • Cost estimation shall be based on approved district rates and government-approved norms of work items
    • Estimated work plan for project cycle
  • Provide an A3 Google map, illustrating the subproject site and surrounding areas and landmarks, such as highways, access roads, market centres, nearby rivers, human settlements, district and provincial boundaries, cultural, historical and archaeological sites ,major health facilities, and schools, among others.
  • Conduct a cost–benefit analysis and recommend operational model for sustainability.
  • Provide other civil engineering-related support to solar irrigation water-pumping projects.
  • Carry out necessary investigation such as:
    • Measure the Earth resistance value of every solar installation project area
    • Conduct ground water exploration (water table) if relevant


Contract duration

The consultant shall be recruited for 3 months. The consultant shall submit four hard copies along with an electronic copy of reports and drawing files as follows:

Milestone Timeline Payments
Inception report 15th day from the date of signing of the contract 20%
Draft report presented and accepted/endorsed by AEPC and ICIMOD 10th week from the date of signing of the contract 60%
Final report presented and accepted/endorsed by AEPC and ICIMOD 12th week from the date of signing of the contract 20%



The organisation must include the following human resources:

Team leader

  • Must possess at least a master’s degree in water resource management, engineering, or a related discipline, along with 10 years of experience
  • Must have 5 years of experience in design and implementation of pumped irrigation, planning and construction management, and in team leader position

Civil expert

  • Must possess a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in structural engineering, along with 8 years of professional experience
  • Must have at least 5 years of specific experience in designing, implementing, and supervising pumped water supply projects
  • Preferred: experience in designing and construction supervision of solar pumped water supply and irrigation distribution network projects

Electrical/solar expert

  • Must possess a bachelor’s degree in electrical/electronic engineering and a master’s degree in a relevant field and 5 years professional experience
  • Must have at least 3 years of specific experience in design, installation, and supervision of solar pumping projects

Agricultural engineer

  • Must have at least a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering or related disciplines with 5 years of experience
  • Must have experience in conducting crop water requirement assessment and planning detailed field investigations by analysing soil samples and designs for environmentally sensitive developments


  • Must have least 5 years of experience with a demonstrated ability of conducting socioeconomic analysis of community irrigation and drinking water systems, or similar projects

Preferable: a master’s degree in economics or a relevant field


Environmental and Social Safeguard expert

  • Must have least 5 years of experience and knowledge in undertaking environmental assessments including Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) as well as implementing Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP), environmental actions/ mitigation measures, supervision, and monitoring.
  • Must have Master Degree in Environmental Science/Engineering.
  • Must demonstrate ability to assess how a site complies with environmental regulations, design, develop, test and implement technical solutions which will help actively to reduce their adverse impact on the environment.
  • Must have experience in social safeguards including labor management, impact on adjacent of construction area, any land related issues, stakeholder engagement and management of other social risks including gender and disability responsive designs.

The service provider will be selected on the basis of the highest ranked technical proposal (60% weightage) and lowest cost financial proposal (40% weightage).

The service provider will be selected on the basis of the highest cumulative scores obtained in the technical and financial proposals using the following formula:

  • Technical score = Score obtained based on technical proposal (total 100)
  • Financial score = Score obtained based on financial proposal (total 100)
  • Total score = 60% of technical proposal + 40% of financial proposal

The service provider scoring the maximum score based on the criteria will be awarded. However, the service provider should score at least 70 points in the technical proposal.


Contents of the proposal

Applicants must include the following sections in the technical proposal:

  1. Technical approach and methodology: In this section, applicants should explain their understanding of the objectives of the assignment, approach to the services, and methodology to obtain the expected output.
  2. Work plan: Applicants should propose the main activities of the proposal, content and duration, milestones, and delivery date. The proposed work plan should be consistent with the technical approach and methodology. Kindly propose a management and operation plan.
  3. Organisation and experts: Applicants should propose the structure and composition of their team, mentioning their qualification and skills as requested in Section II. Applicants should list the main discipline of the assignment, the key expert responsible, and proposed technical and support staff.
  4. Relevant past experience: Applicants must include the past experience of their organisation and experts relevant to this request for proposals.
  5. Financial bid: Applicants should provide the financial quote with the breakdown of all the costs and include the tax in the budget (refer to the table provided below):
    – Breakdown of the experts needed, number of days required, quantity, rate
    – Breakdown of other costs, unit, quantity, rate


Component Activity Unit No. of units Unit rate Amount Notes (if any)
Name of activity (e.g. data collection)
Senior staff, designation Review data days  XXX  XXX
Junior staff, designation Collect data days
Material supplies
 Investigation cost

Note: Quoted figures are inclusive of all applicable taxes.

  1. List of irrigation projects
No. Name of project Address Province Access[1]
1 Sunkoshi Lift Irrigation Khadadevi RM-1, Ramechhap Bagmati Moterable road/BP highway /20 mins walk
2 Seku Krishi Sinchayi Yojana Kedarsyun Rural Municipality -9, Bajhang Sudurpaschim Jaya prithivi highway_Surma-3 hr walk
3 Bilaibagar Sichai Yojana Kedarsyun Rural Municipality -1 Bajhang Sudurpaschim Jaya prithivi highway_Surma-3 hr walk
4 Ghawatada saurya Lift Yojana Mangalsen Municipality -2 Accham Sudurpaschim safebagar-Martadi section-safebagar-1hr walk
5 BudhiGanga chadaa Saurya urja sinchai Yojana Sanfebagar Municipality -1 Accham Sudurpaschim safebagar-Mangasen section-safebagar-45mins walk


[1] Information collected over phone , site access not physically verified

Table of contents

1. Site characterisation

    • Demographic and administration
    • Socioeconomic status
    • Community engagementand historical project records
    • Statutory requirements (e.g. water use permits, land use permits, and religious areas)
    • Potential disaster, climate and environmental risks (such as flash floods, landslides, and other extreme events)

2. Enabling environment

    • Infrastructure (road, transportation, communication, etc. relevant to agriculture production and markets)
    • Electricity access
    • Local agri-enterprises
    • Financing institutions
    • Market opportunities

3. Design considerations and system design

3.1 Site design

    • Existing practices of agriculture and irrigation
    • Mapping command area
    • Site topography and soil parameters
    • Local climate conditions
    • Irrigation plan and water requirement (e.g. seasonal crop plan based on land plots)
    • Water sources and year-round availability
    • Hydrostatics and hydrodynamics (e.g. static head, dynamic head, pressure, flow rate)
    • Proposal to address potential disaster including climate and environmental induced risks
    • Available energy infrastructures (e.g. location of LV lines, other power sources)
    • Stability of the power supply
    • Restrictions on the use of power source


3.2 Civil engineering design

    • Climate-proofing intake and reservoir designs
    • Transmission line size and length
    • Service line size and length (distribution network)
    • Irrigation technologies (surface, drip, sprinkler)
    • Water accounting method (metering, hourly, control valves, etc.)
    • Optimal design with structural analysis


3.3 Energy and electromechanical

    • Assessment of the best available and selection of technology to power the pump
    • Conditions specific to technology (e.g. space for solar PV if solar is the best available technology, or operating conditions of micro-hydro if it exists)

4. Cost determination and bill of quantity

5. Cost–benefit analysis(financial and economic analysis)

    • Valuing irrigation benefit in terms of increased agricultural productivity, increased farm income at farm level. Improved food and security, reduced food imports, social capital, value addition, and job creation at societal level (macro-level).
    • Financial viability and sustainability of the system

6. GESI aspects assessment in the project area

7. Safeguarding (environment, social, technological risks, financial and market risks)

8. Operational and management plan

    • Water use and conservation plan in the community
    • Stakeholders’ engagement and participation
    • Water governance and conflict resolution in the community
    • User committee/entity’s legal registration, accounting methods

9. Technical design and working drawings

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