Hydropower sector accounts for 95pc of investment pledges

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    KATHMANDU, SEP 24 –

    hydro-energyInvestors don’t seem to be deterred from putting money in hydropower projects despite limited access to financing and a long gestation period

    According to government data, seven hydro projects were registered at the Department of Industry (DoI) in the first two months of the current fiscal year. More interestingly, the hydropower sector has attracted the highest investment compared to other sectors.

    The seven hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 362.11 MW have pledged to bring in capital worth Rs 59.28 billion, which is 95 percent of the total investment commitments received by the country during the period.

    The hydro projects that have been registered at the DoI are Kutheli Bukhari  (998 KW), Rasuwa Bhote Koshi (97.5 MW), Tanahun (140 MW), Lower Likhu (28.1 MW), Upper Trishuli(75 MW) and Chandeshwori Mahadev Khola (8.52 MW).

    Similarly, the country’s industrial environment is not as bad as it is generally considered to be. As per DoI data, 61 industrial enterprises with a combined investment commitment of Rs 62.22 billion were registered during the first two months of the current fiscal year. If the proposed ventures are implemented, they will create 4,560 jobs.

    The committed amount is surprisingly high given the fact that the country had received commitments worth Rs 330 million only during the first six months of the last fiscal year.

    A total of 97 enterprises had entered Nepal’s industrial sector committing to generate 5,000 new jobs during that period.

    DoI Director General Dhruba Lal Rajbanshi attributed the investors’ pledges to put their money in hydropower projects to the country receiving such a huge amount of investment commitments.

    He said that the registration of industrial projects with their investment commitments during the first two months of the current fiscal year is not incomparable even with the registered industries in the six months in the last fiscal year. “Though the government has not provided any solid foundation upon which investors can freely develop industrial enterprises, the inflow of investment commitment has also surprised us,” he said.

    The data has thrown up some interesting facts. Though the projects registered under FDI are higher in number, they have a small investment commitment. Though local investors registered the least number of projects, they have pledged the highest amount of investment.

    Of the total industries registered, 38 are under FDI which have made investment pledges amounting to Rs 790.6 million. The local investors registered only 14 projects but their investment pledges amount to Rs 54.21 billion, or 87 percent of the total. Meanwhile, investors in the joint venture (JV) segment have registered nine projects with investment commitments worth Rs 7.22 billion.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post