Hydropower for industrialization and income generation: President

Published On: January 6, 2018 09:02 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has said that generating more hydropower is key to increasing income of people and enhancing industrialization in the country.

Inaugurating Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 on Friday, president Bhandari stressed on need for developing hydroelectric plants to tap the hydropower potential of the country. 

“Clean energy can be an important means to do away with more expensive sources of energy like petrol, diesel, coal and gas that may deplete any time in future,” she said. “Our hydropower plants can also ensure energy security for the future generation.” 

Bhandari added that the country needed more investment and newer technologies in the sector. 

The president also expressed hope that economic and development agendas would be the top priorities for the next government. 

Bhawani Rana, president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that energy consumption was a chief indicator of a country’s development status, adding that energy consumption has remained very low in South Asian countries.  

Nepal’s per capita electricity consumption is a little over 100 kilowatt hour, which is one of the lowest in South Asia. Nepal was the first South Asian country to install a hydropower plant of 500 KW at Pharping 107 years ago. However, seriously lagged behind on hydropower development, the country has less than 1,000 MW of installed capacity at the moment.  The mismatch of demand and supply during dry months widens to significant levels. 

Rana said that it was unfortunate for the country to be generating too little energy despite the huge potential. She thanked the government for improving power supply since mid 2016. 

“With the improved power supply the suppressed manufacturing sector has already witnessed a growth of about 10 percent in the last year,” Rana said. 

President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries Hari Bhakta Sharma said that hydropower projects were good means of job creation. With the growth of industrialization after increased power supply, further jobs will be created, Sharma added. 

Sharma stressed on bringing in different forms of investments like private equity funds, bonds in local currency, and climate change fund to finance Nepal’s hydropower. 

“Outdated laws that are older than me still exist, and we have to work under those laws. It is making things difficult for the investment sector including hydropower,” Sharma said, appealing the government to foster investment climate. 

Himalayan Hydro expo begins
KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Himalayan Hydro Expo 2018 has kicked off on Friday. Different domestic and foreign companies have showcased their services and products that are useful for hydropower sector. Electric cars are also on display in the three-day expo. “The event is bringing people and companies involved in this sector together. We aim to bring new technology faster in the country,” said Shailendra Guragain, president of Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal, the lead organizer of the event. About 100 stalls have been set up in the expo, including those of hydropower producers, suppliers, hydropower plant designers, consultants, insurance companies, investors, banks, and other financial institutions. 

The multinational companies showcasing their services and products are CMC-Italy, VOITH-Germany, CRYSTAL-India and FLOVEL-India, VAPTECH-Bulgaria, MAVEL-Czech Republic, BFL-India, Powerchina-China, CSEC-China. There are also thematic seminars-hydro tunnelling, banking and insurance, and hydropower-- on the sidelines of the expo. Guragain said that the expo has been organized with an aim to contribute toward the bigger objective of generating 10,000 MW of electricity from the current 1,000 MW by 2026 -- a target that the government has planned to achieve.

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