HIDCL mulling over using remittance in hydropower projects

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    KATHMANDU, Aug 15: 

    HIDCLHydropower Investment Development Company Limited (HIDCL) is working on a scheme to channelize remittance income into hydropower development.

    HIDCL – a government promoted company formed to promote investment in hydropower sector – is presently working on a scheme to pump a portion of amount sent home by remittance earner for hydropower development and later return benefits to them in the form of pension. 

    Talking to Republica, Deepak Rauniyar, CEO of HIDCL, say they were looking to develop a hydropower project, with capacity ranging from 300 to 400 MW, from the money mobilized from remittance and a proposed soft loan from the Asian Development Bank. 

    “We will use remittance money mobilized from migrant workers as equity investment. They can also trade their shares in the capital market,” added Rauniyar. 

    But it is too early to say whether the new investment scheme will be able to woo migrant workers. Earlier, the foreign employment bond issued by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) had failed to attract overseas workers despite offering attractive interest rate of up 10.5 percent.

    Nepal received total remittances amounting to Rs 434 billion in fiscal year 2012/13. Early estimates show, remittance flow in 2013/14 is higher by around Rs 6 billion compared to the past fiscal year.

    Rauniyar said they aim to mobilize around one-fifth of the total remittance flow to the country in their new scheme.

    HIDCL has co-financed four different hydropower projects with investment of Rs 2.1 billion. Similarly, it has another Rs 5.09 billion in its capital reserve. HIDCL officials say they were currently studying six projects for co-financing.

    Likewise, HIDCL has also proposed to the Asian Development Bank to provide concessional loan of US$ 50 million to invest in hydropower projects. The Manila-based multilateral donor recently completed due diligence audit of HIDCL. It is expected to decide on concessional loan very soon.

    Source : Republica