Pratik Rayamajhi/Republica NEA MD Kulman Ghising at an interaction with the business community, industrialists and hoteliers in Kathmandu on Monday.
'Improved power supply has made 6.5 percet growth target gettable'
KATHMANDU, April 18: Minister for Energy, Janardan Sharma, has said that the top management of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) won't be changed for at least four years.
Speaking at an interaction with business community, industrialists and hoteliers in Kathmandu on Monday, Minister Sharma said that NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising will serve his full term of four years.
The interaction was organized by the ministry to assess the impact of uninterrupted power supply to the country's economy.
Heaping praises on Minister Sharma and Managing Director Ghising, Bhola Rijal, a senior doctor and a promoter of Om Hospital, said any change in top management of the power utility could affect the reform process initiated by Ghising and his team.
Similarly, Binayak Shah, general secretary of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), said uninterrupted power supply has brought down operation cost of industries and businesses. He also urged the minister and the NEA management to work out a plan for providing uninterrupted power supply to upcoming hotels of leading hotel chains like Sheraton, Marriott and Hilton.
Around three dozen star-rated hotels of different categories are coming up, according to HAN.
Similarly, industrialists from the eastern region demanded that the NEA reduce load-shedding during peak hours. NEA should also strengthen transmission lines by replacing old cables for improving supply, they said.
Responding to the industrialists, Ghising said that NEA was acquiring more transformers to replace old transformers for ensuring uninterrupted power supply.
The industrialists also suggested to the NEA to conduct energy audit for efficient use of electricity, and encourage consumers to use energy-efficient equipment, among others.
Mukesh Upadhyaya, a Morang-based industrialist, said NEA must conduct energy audits by of any entity or industry that consumes more than 1 MW of energy.
Likewise, hydropower developers urged the NEA management to expedite transmission line projects. They also requested the energy ministry to forge effective coordination among different ministries while facilitating hydropower companies.
On the occasion, Minister Sharma also claimed that hotels and industries producing steel and ghee, among others, have logged more profits with improved energy supply. They do not need to use expensive energy produced by generators, he added. “Improved energy supply is one of the factors that have made the economic growth target of 6.5 percent gettable,” Sharma said.
Conservative studies show different industries and enterprises have installed generators having combined capacity of around 700 MW.
Minister Sharma also claimed that it is possible to achieve double-digit economic growth by making businesses more viable by providing uninterrupted power supply. “We have planned to use scattered resources with Employment Provident Fund and Citizens Investment Trust, among others, to invest in mega projects by setting up separate companies,” he said.
He also announced that the ministry has plans to generate 17,000 MW, including 8,000 MW by storage plants, in the next seven years.