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Saturday, January 27, 2018, 18:38
Hydropower: Attracting foreign investment 'Nepal's top priority'
By Yang Han in Kathmandu, Nepal
Saturday, January 27, 2018, 18:38 By Yang Han in Kathmandu, Nepal

This Jan 27, 2018 photo shows Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari delivering the inaugural speech at the Nepal Power Investment Summit held at Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Tahachal Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari said on Jan 27 that the government is committed to creating a congenial environment for investment, with attracting foreign investment in hydropower as the top priority. 

In the wake of major political change in the country, our main goal is to achieve rapid economic growth

Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President, Nepal

“In the wake of major political change in the country, our main goal is to achieve rapid economic growth,” said Bhandari, emphasizing that developing infrastructure, especially in the hydropower sector will be key to the country’s progress.    

Bhandari was speaking in Kathmandu at the annual Nepal Power Investment Summit. Focusing on developing 40,000 MW in the next 10 years in Nepal, the three-day event, from Jan 27-29, will showcase energy investment opportunities in Nepal and provide updates on the sector’s development. 

Government officials, ambassadors, industry leaders, and academic researchers from countries including Nepal, China, India, Bangladesh and Germany are attending the summit.

Noting the need to develop renewable energy in the context of climate change and excessive use of fossil fuels, Bhandari said hydro resource is a “valuable gift of nature” to Nepal in developing one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable source of energy-hydroelectricity.

As a landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia, Nepal is endowed with a large number of high mountains with plenty of glaciers leading out to more than 6,000 rivers.  

This Jan 27, 2018 photo shows Roland Schafer, ambassador of Germany to Nepal; Sujit Acharya, chairperson of Nepal's Energy Development Council; Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari; Mashfee Binte Shams, ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal, and Manjeev Singh Puri, ambassador of India to Nepal, at the opening ceremony of the Nepal Power Investment Summit, held at Tahachal Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

But Nepal’s hydro resource is far from fully utilized, said Bhandari. Compared with a hydro potential of 8,3000MW, the country only has a production capacity of around 1,000 MW, suggesting 99 percent of its resources are waiting to be developed. 

Bhandari called upon both local and foreign investors to be actively involved in Nepal’s hydropower sector. “The government is committed to create a congenial atmosphere for investment by taking due consideration of the investors’ interest and real needs,” she said.

Bhandari said capital, technology, market feasibility and development of cross-border transmission line will be needed for implementation of large scale projects, and the government will accord top priority to attract foreign investment in hydropower.

This Jan 27, 2018 photo shows guests reading China Daily Asia Weekly. (TANYA WANG / FOR CHINA DAILY)

“I reckon there is a good opportunity to invest in hydropower sector,” said Bhandari. “I believe the development of hydropower in Nepal would benefit the neighboring countries as well, and would eventually contribute to economic development of the region.”

The summit, organized by Nepal’s Energy Development Council, also witnessed the launch the guidebook “How to Develop A Hydro Power Project in Nepal”, which will provide information to investors in utilizing the country’s hydro resource in various forms. 

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