Investment of $5 billion needed for high voltage transmission line projects
Kathmandu, June 1
The Nepal Power Investment Summit 2016 concluded today with a declaration that Nepal requires $20 billion to develop 10,000 MW on grid hydropower projects in the next 10 years. The power investment conference was organised by the Energy Development Council (EDC) — the umbrella organisation of the energy sector — in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Investment Board Nepal.
The summit also declared that the country would need investment of $5 billion for high voltage transmission line projects to be completed within 2035. The Budhigandaki 1,200 MW, Nalsingad 410 MW, Tamor 762 MW, Andhikhola 180 MW, Tamakoshi V 87 MW, Upper Tamor 415 MW, Tamakoshi III 650 MW and Thuli Bheri 530 MW projects have been identified as prominent opportunities for investors, says a statement issued by the EDC.
Investors expressed interest to explore investing in mid- and large-scale power projects in Nepal worth billions of dollars provided the investment environment improved and Nepal’s ranking in the ease of doing business increased. They have also expected to soon have a one-window policy to get all necessary approvals and permits for doing business.
EDC also launched a book ‘Inventory of Rivers of Nepal’ that identifies 11,614 rivers and rivulets during the summit. The council has said that it will soon carry out a study on the potential of developing hydropower projects in those rivers and rivulets in the second phase.
Forty speakers from India, Singapore, Thailand, Bhutan, China, US and UK, among others, highlighted the investment challenges and opportunities on energy and infrastructure development in Nepal. Speakers also stressed on the need to develop alternative source of energy.
Aliana B Teplitz, ambassador of the US to Nepal, stated that despite having a huge potential of generating more than 40,000 MW electricity, the installed capacity of Nepal is merely at 780 MW. “There is still a huge room for development.” She stressed on the need to have better policy and legislation to improve the present scenario.
During the conference, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) mentioned that projects with combined capacity of 1,330 MW are under construction and will be completed by 2020. “We need to invest about $20 billion in the next 10 years to generate 10,000 MW,” said Lila Nath Bhattarai, deputy managing director at the Engineering Services Directorate, NEA. NEA also said that they faced various geological problems, technical problems in structures and other natural calamities.
Allard Nooy, CEO at Infraco Asia, Singapore, made a presentation on the challenges for investment in the energy and infrastructure sector in Nepal. Nooy said, “Lack of a coordinated approach to get necessary approvals and permits and lack of adequate background information of projects and related risks were major challenges for investors.”
Nooy further stated the government needs to introduce a more transparent regulatory framework with more satisfactory returns in order to attract foreign direct investment for economic transformation.
There were more than 200 participants from China, US, Canada, Bulgaria, Norway, India, Bhutan, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Thailand, Vietnam, France, Austria and UK, among others, at the summit.
A version of this article appears in print on June 02, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.