Kathmandu, March 31
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), along with other development partners, has promised to extend assistance of over Rs 200 billion for implementation of the action plan, ‘National Energy Crisis Prevention and Electricity Development Decade’, which was unveiled by the Ministry of Energy envisaging developing 10,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity within the next 10 years.
ADB Country Director to Nepal, Kenichi Yokoyama, has informed that development partners’ collective support of over Rs 200 billion could be made available to help implement this action plan.
“The development partners will mobilise more than Rs 200 billion collectively in five to seven years to support the government’s energy crisis action plan,” he said.
ADB has been taking the initiative to harmonise donor’s money in energy sector for the implementation of recently launched action plan.
Considering the building cost per megawatt of hydro electric project at Rs 180 million, the fund can finance development of hydro electric projects that can collectively generate over 1,111 megawatts of electricity.
Speaking during the ‘National Seminar on Energy Economics of Nepal’ organised by the Society of Economic Journalists Nepal (SEJON) here today, Yokoyama said that the action plan incorporates all the essential ingredients, including institutional actions, legal environment improvement as well as investment proposals, which provide very good basis for its implementation.
He also praised the government and private sector’s collective effort for accelerating power generation and power trade with India.
“In the next two to three years, we expect Nepal’s power crisis to be substantially addressed, but looking towards the future, we see huge potential in energy sector for the country,” he said, adding, “Development partners have also envisioned ensuring reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of energy services to meet the domestic demand first and then export of hydropower, which in turn will not only generate substantive revenue but also promote sustainable growth of the country.”
Yokoyama also highlighted that energy is the key for driving the country’s economy towards accelerated and inclusive growth process. Once the energy constraints are addressed, it will unleash Nepal’s development potentials in terms of boosting the manufacturing sector, which has been operating under capacity for want of cheaper and more efficient energy.
“It will also open way for the agriculture sector by providing vast opportunities for ground water and the Tarai area can be fully irrigated,” he said. He also identified the potential of setting up fertiliser plants in the country once energy demands are fully met. Agriculture sector can benefit through massive production of fertiliser, which can be competitive enough to vie for market space against subsidised Indian fertilisers, he opined.
He also stressed on furnishing Nepal’s abundant hydropower potential by attracting private investment and suggested creating an enabling environment to safeguard investment and predictability of power market.
‘Substantive achievements within next five years’
KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi has said that there will be substantive progress in energy sector of the country within next five years as 1,100 megawatts of hydro-electricity projects and thousands of kilometres long transmission lines of 220KV and 400KV are under construction. He promised that the government will end load-shedding within two years from now. “We are striving towards surpassing all the achievements made in the country’s 105-year long history of hydropower generation over the next four to five years,” he said. Addressing a programme here on Thursday, Minister Rayamajhi informed that the government will soon form a separate company for generation and power trade as it has done in the sector of transmission. He also said the government has been preparing to provide a single-window facility for developers (foreign and domestic) to expedite the procedural works. Experts on the energy sector stressed on the need to table Electricity Act and Electricity Regulatory Commission Act at the earliest.
A version of this article appears in print on April 01, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.