KATHMANDU, Nov 22: Uninterrupted power supply in the Kathmandu Valley since past couple of weeks has boosted the confidence of industrialists and hoteliers. With their operating cost coming down significantly, they are already chalking out expansion plans.
Speaking at a program organized in Kathmandu on Monday by the Ministry of Energy, they thanked Minister for Energy Janardan Sharma for making the capital city free of power cuts.
Factories in Balaju, Patan and Bhaktapur industrial estates are now running in two shifts.
Industrialists said in the meeting that they were mulling over hiring more staffers to increase production.
Nanda Kishore Basnet, chairman and general manager of Industrial Districts Management Limited, said factories in all three estates are now operating in two shifts.
In the past, these factories used to operate only one and half shifts due to lengthy power cuts.
Factories, however, do not get electricity between 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
“Factories may hire 200 to 300 employees immediately if the electricity supply continues in the same way in the coming days," added Basnet.
Nebico Private Limited, Nepal Gas, Valley Feed, Dairy Development Corporation among others, in the Balaju Industries Estate are mulling over increasing production.
There are 136 factories in Balaju, 115 in Patan and 60 Bhaktapur industrial estates.
Altogether, they employ more than 6,000 workers.
Kiran Raj Timalsina, engineer at the secretariat of Minister Sharma, said that the meeting was organized for making coordinated efforts for sustained electricity supply as well as for launching energy efficiency program.
At the meeting, Minister Sharma assured the industrialists that the 20-hour daily supply will continue.
Upaul Majumdar, general manager of Soaltee Crowne Plaza, was all praises for Minister Sharma. “We still wonder whether the uninterrupted power supply will continue in the future. But the minister has vowed to do it,” he added.
NEA is providing round the clock power supply to hotels.
"Our profit will increase as we no longer need to run diesel generator sets to produce electricity," Majumdar said.
According to Majumdar, five-star hotels were consuming 700 to 1,000 liters diesel on a daily basis before Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) started providing uninterrupted power supply. This means daily savings of Rs 51,100 to Rs 73,000.
"This definitely will increase our profit as energy expense accounts for about 15 percent of our operating cost,” added Majumdar.
Energy produced by diesel generators is 2.7 times expensive compared to power supplied by the NEA.
“No diesel consumption means, no pollution and healthy environment,” Majumdar added.
At the meeting, Binayak Shah, general secretary of Hotel Association of Nepal, urged Minister Sharma to use generator sets to produce energy in the peak hour if needed as bulky generator sets are lying idle with hotels and factories.
Speaking at the program, Minister Sharma urged everyone to become energy-efficient.