Construction in Bhairahawa SEZ from mid-Dec
Kathmandu, November 6
If thing go as planned, domestic companies will begin the construction of factories within Bhairahawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) — the maiden SEZ of the country — within mid-December.
In an attempt to end the electricity bottleneck that has been obstructing the operation of Bhairahawa SEZ, Ministry of Energy (MoE), Ministry of Industry (MoI), National Planning Commission (NPC) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) recently agreed to ensure supply of electricity to the SEZ within mid-December at any cost.
The commitment to this effect from related government agencies will certainly give momentum to the process of operationalising the Bhairahawa SEZ, said Chandika Bhatta, executive director of SEZ Authority of Nepal.
According to him, all these authorities have signed an agreement to ensure required electricity for the Bhairahawa SEZ.
The SEZ Authority of Nepal had earlier said that the full-fledged operation of industries within the Bhairahawa SEZ will require 20 megawatts of electricity.
Meanwhile, Kul Man Ghising, managing director of NEA, said that works are under way to connect power to Bhairahawa SEZ through the Butwal-Bhairahawa 33kVA line. “The works to connect electricity to Bhairahawa SEZ will be completed within a month,” said Ghising.
Currently, NEA has been supplying a three-phase line to Bhairahawa SEZ. However, the power is only enough to carry out the construction works of the industries and is insufficient for the factories to operate.
In the lack of power assurance, different firms that have been authorised to set up industries inside the Bhairahawa SEZ had been putting off the factory construction process.
The SEZ Authority of Nepal had accepted the proposal of 22 domestic firms to set up industries within 69 plots of the Bhairahawa SEZ. Prominent business houses of the country, like Golchha Organisation, Jagadamba Group, Vaidya’s Organisation, Lohia Group and Siddhartha Group, among others, have taken approval to set up factories related to bottling plants, metal processing, polymers manufacturing, beverages production, manufacturing electric products and production of noodles, among others, within the Bhairahawa SEZ.
Informing that all the companies authorised to set up factories within the Bhairahawa SEZ have completed industry registration processes, Bhatta of SEZ Authority of Nepal said that domestic companies now are excited to begin construction of their factories following government’s commitment to ensure adequate power supply.
Bhairahawa SEZ is the only SEZ in the country that has been inaugurated till date. The government has envisioned establishing 14 SEZs across the country with at least one SEZ in every province.
The government had come up with the concept of SEZ years back with the view to promote export-oriented industries in the country to narrow down Nepal’s trade deficit. It is mandatory for industries established within SEZ to export at least 70 per cent of their production.