Factories located in the Hetauda Industrial Area (HIA) have started operating three shifts per day after their electricity supply was increased.
Since last November, the industrial zone has been getting an additional 5 MW of power. The HIA’s energy requirement is 8-10 MW.
Nawa Raj Acharya, president of the Makwanpur Industries Association, said, “In the past, factories had a hard time operating even two shifts, but most of them are now regularly running three shifts.”
Before the energy supply was increased, many firms could barely operate two shifts due to repeated power cuts which occurred almost daily. Moreover, several newly established factories that could not begin operations because of power shortages have come to life after more energy was supplied to the estate.
New enterprises like Fashion Paint, Kistal, Surya Paints, Chinese Doors and Windows Factory and Bhabisya Maida have begun production after having to lay idle because of irregular power supply.
Nepal Bhusan Baidhya, head of Hetauda Industrial Area Management, said, “These new firms started production as soon as the industrial area was supplied with additional power.” He added that the new factories were operating on 20 bighas of land of Hetauda Garment Factory.
State-owned power utility Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) began feeding an additional supply of 5 MW of electricity to the industrial area over a transmission line from the electricity sub-station at Kamena in Hetauda. The industrial area now receives a regular supply of 10 MW of electricity.
Entrepreneurs said that factories suffered more due to erratic power cuts than scheduled outages. “The circuit breaker used to trip 15 to 20 times a day due to overloading, which increased chances of damage to machinery,” said Acharya.
Thanks to the increased supply of energy, no factory has had to shut down due to lack of power like in the past. The NEA currently shuts off power for 3 hours daily in the morning. NEA officials said that they were making efforts to eliminate load-shedding totally.
“Another 2 MW of electricity can be supplied to factories in the industrial area,” said Suraj Kumar Shah, an engineer associated with Hetauda Industrial Area Management. He added that they were working to boost supply by an additional 5 MW in the next six months.
“In the near future, Hetauda Industrial Area Management will be able to supply extra energy to factories on demand.”
The Hetauda Industrial Area hosts 87 factories. It was set up about 54 years ago with the help of the US government. Currently, 29 new factories are being constructed while four remain closed.
Source : The Kathmandu Post