Russia interested to invest in Nepal’s hydropower sector


Russia has expressed its interest to invest in Nepal’s hydropower sector.

A team led by Russian Ambassador to Nepal Aleksei A Novikov met Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun at the ministry today and expressed their interest in investing in hydropower.

“Russia’s two largest banks, Lanta and Moscow Industrial Bank, have proposed to invest in Nepal’s hydropower projects,” said Ambassador Novikov.

“We are more interested in working on such projects under the government-to-government policy.”

The ambassador-led team also talked about the legal provisions related to hydropower generation and distribution in Nepal and the potential of a regional market. The Russian delegation also questioned the minister on whether the electricity generated could be consumed within the country.

“Initially, we will invest in a project as a ‘pilot project’ and both the public and private sectors will be encouraged to invest in Nepal by understanding the market situation,” he said.

Responding to the delegates, Minister Pun informed that the government has projected that 10,000 MW of electricity will be consumed in the domestic market of Nepal over the next 10 years. He said that electricity trade agreements have been signed with India and Bangladesh to export the surplus electricity.

Minister Pun also said that foreign companies could invest in hydropower alone, joint ventures with Nepali companies or joint ventures with government companies, adding that Russian investors would be welcome in Nepal.

Minister Pun further reminded of 2.4 MW Khopasi Hydropower Station — one of the oldest hydropower stations in the country that was constructed in 1965 with the assistance of the Russian government — is still generating electricity.

In the meeting, senior officials of Lanta Bank and Moscow Industrial Bank, as well as the founder of the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), Upendra Mahato, Vice-president of NRNA Badri KC and Gore Sherpa, general secretary of Independent Power Producers Association (IP- PAN), were also present.