12-18 January 2018 #892

Power investors meet

Can Nepal generate 40,000MW of hydroelectricity in 10 years and unleash a slew of downstream industries?

Sujit Acharya, Chairperson of Energy Development Council (EDC) at the first Nepal Power Investment Summit in 2016

Can Nepal generate 40,000MW of hydroelectricity in 10 years and unleash a slew of downstream industries? That is the ambitious goal set by the Nepal Power Investment Summit (NPIS) 2018 taking place 27-29 January at Soaltee Crowne Plaza.

The Summit is organised by the Energy Development Council, the umbrella organisation representing the entire energy sector, both private and public. The three-day conference will target knowledge-sharing on investment in Nepal, feature renowned speakers and provide a platform for investors, contractors and financiers worldwide to expand business and make deals in the energy sector.

The Energy Mart is the highlight of the summit, gathering sponsors and their products to attract project stakeholders to make deals. More than 100 qualified hydropower projects, 20 solar generation projects, 10 transmission line projects and 13 smart city plans will be showcased at the summit.

Nepal’s topography and natural resources provide the ideal conditions for the generation of hydropower, which has so far been largely untapped. More than 6,000 rivers originate in Nepal and flow to India, while Nepal’s six main rivers actually originate in China and flow across the Himalaya into Nepal.

While Nepal has potential to generate up to 48,000MW of economically feasible hydropower, only 600MW has so far been harnessed. Although 2,000MW is expected to come online in the next 2 years, the lack of investment in energy means much of Nepal’s hydropower potential flows unused into India every year. The estimated investment opportunity of hydropower in Nepal is US$ 80 billion.

With the country likely headed towards political stability after elections, there is a sense of cautious optimism among investors about electricity generation. According to the government’s Energy Demand Projection 2030, per capita electricity consumption can reach 700-kilowatt-hour per year by 2030, for which a total of 8,000MW will be needed.

Fortune 500 companies and equity financing firms will participate in the summit with the result that engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) financing from US$5 million to US$ 20 billion will be accessible. China Construction Bank, the world’s second-largest bank, will provide training on how to get access to such loans. A step-by-step exclusive book, How to Develop a Hydropower Project, will also be available.

Ziyu Lin

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