Nov 8, 2017-Manufacturing units based in Hetauda Industrial Estate have been able to operate at near full capacity after the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility started supplying additional 5MW of electricity to the estate.
Previously, factories inside the estate had been hamstrung by the shortage of electricity and could barely handle operating for two shifts.
But, with the additional supply of electricity, manufacturing units have been able to operate near full capacity, even adding a third shift.
Industrialists said this move by the NEA has boosted their confidence and is likely to attract new factories to the estate. “We have been relieved by the increased supply of electricity,” said Nava Raj Aryal, president of Hetauda Industries Association, “Due to shortage of electricity, we were operating our factories at under-capacity while those interested in opening new factories were reluctant to join.”
The government, in the last fiscal year, had allocated funds to develop infrastructure to supply additional electricity to the Hetauda Industrial Estate from the NEA’s substation at Kamane in Hetuda.
Although, the NEA was supposed to complete the job within a year, the power utility took two years to erect 200 poles and a dedicated feeder to supply 5MW of electricity to the estate.
“With the additional supply, the estate is receiving 10MW of electricity in total,” said Nimesh Adhikari, engineer at Industrial District Management Limited of Hetauda, “Now, the factories inside the industrial estate will not be shut down due to power shortage.”
The additional supply has not only provided adequate power to the factories in the industrial estate, but also improved the quality of supply.
Previously, the factories were suffering from abrupt power cuts due to poor load bearing capacity of the distribution network. “There used to be interruptions for at least 15 to 20 times daily, putting the expensive machineries and equipments at risk,” said Aryal, “With the new infrastructure for the additional supply in place, this problem has been solved.”
While majority of the factories in the industrial estate are cheering the boost of electricity from the NEA, not all factories in the area have been plugged in. New factories that were established on 13 hectares of land that used to house Hetauda Garment Factory have yet to come into operation due to lack of power.
Adhikari said the Industrial District Management Limited will soon supply electricity to those factories.
With this development, the power cuts in the industrial estate have been limited to 2 hours a day and the NEA is preparing to eliminate the power cuts completely. Adhikari said they can import additional 5MW of electricity from the substation at the Kamane within six months.
The industrial area in Hetauda was built in 1963 with the support of the US government. It spreads across 2,829 ropanis of land. It has already leased out all the land plots where manufacturing units could be established. Around 94 manufacturing firms are currently operating in the industrial area.
Source : The Kathmandu Post