KATHMANDU, Dec 9: Russia has expressed an interest to build a large investment hydropower project in Nepal.
A team led by Russian Ambassador to Nepal Alexey Novikov met Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun at the Ministry on Tuesday and expressed interest in bringing investment in the hydropower sector from Russia.
Two of the largest Russian banks, Lanta Bank and Moscow Industrial Bank, have offered to invest in Nepal's hydropower, Ambassador Novikov said. The delegation has stated that it wants to make such an investment on the government-to-government agreement model.
The delegation led by the Ambassador showed interest in the legal provisions related to hydropower generation and distribution in Nepal and the potential of the regional market. According to the Ministry, the team was also interested about the possibility of a joint power and irrigation project in Nepal. The Russian delegation also enquired if the generated electricity could be consumed in its own industry.
“Initially, we will invest as a 'pilot project' and both the public and private sectors will be encouraged to invest in Nepal after understanding the market situation,” he said.
Minister Pun has welcomed Russia’s interest in investing in the hydropower sector. He said that the government has projected that 10,000 MW electricity will be consumed in the domestic market in 10 years from now in Nepal. “The government has signed an agreement to export surplus electricity to India and Bangladesh,” he added.