Kathmandu, July 11
The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) is preparing to sign memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with foreign firms for three different projects worth more than Rs 200 billion.
Though IBN is reluctant to disclose the names of the foreign firms with which it plans to sign the MoUs, it said that the memorandums will soon be inked for the development of Logistic Park (Dry Port) in Bhairahawa and Birgunj, 550-megawatt Solar Power Project covering all provinces and the World Buddhist Park project in Lumbini.
IBN had received multiple proposals for the development of these projects at the Nepal Investment Summit held in March. “We are currently working on the draft of the MoUs to be signed with competitive firms for these projects. We will soon finalise the drafts and reach an agreement,” informed Maha Prasad Adhikari, chief executive officer of IBN.
Along with these three projects, Adhikari informed that the board has also shortlisted competitive proposals received for various other projects and these proposals will be tabled at the IBN meeting soon. “We have been ignoring proposals that have not met the set criteria, while we are also in constant dialogue with firms whose proposals are competitive,” he informed.
Of the 77 projects that the government had showcased at the country’s flagship Nepal Investment Summit in March, investors had submitted expression of interest (EoI) for different projects amounting to almost $30 billion.
Among others, investors had expressed keen interest in projects related to transport infrastructure, as IBN had received 22 EoIs for nine transport infrastructure projects. These projects include Nijgadh International Airport (six EoIs), Outer Ring Road (four EoIs), Ring Road of Kathmandu (four EoIs), Kathmandu Valley Metro Rail, East-West Electrified Rail, Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini Railways, Kathmandu Sky Train, Samakhusi-Tokha-Chhahare Road (two EoIs) and Dhangadhi Regional International Airport (two EoIs).
Similarly, IBN had also received seven EoIs for five agriculture infrastructure projects, namely Integrated Agri Projects in Urlabari, Hemja, Banepa, Biratnagar and Tillottama.
While IBN has received eight EoIs for seven energy infrastructure projects, it has received five EoIs for four projects related to urban infrastructure. Likewise, the government has received EoIs for tourism, industry, health and education infrastructure projects.
Adhikari mentioned that separate dedicated committees are in regular consultations with foreign firms with competitive proposals for different projects. “Materialising investors’ interest towards different projects in Nepal is a gradual process and we are optimistic that we will be able to turn into reality a majority of EoIs for different projects,” he added.
A version of this article appears in print on July 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.