President bemoans slow pace of hydro developmentPresident Bidhya Devi Bhandari has expressed concern at the slow pace of hydropower development in the country despite its century-long history of generating hydroelectricity.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari has expressed concern at the slow pace of hydropower development in the country despite its century-long history of generating hydroelectricity.
Inaugurating the first Himalayan Hydro Expo on Friday at Bhrikuti Mandap Exhibition Hall, Bhandari said, “In the past 100 years, the total installed capacity of hydropower projects stands at less than 1,000 MW. This is a poor showing compared to the country’s immense potential,” said Bhandari.
She urged stakeholders to gradually reduce electricity imports from India by increasing domestic production. Nepal has been buying around 400 MW of electricity from India via various cross-border transmission lines. Imports are expected to swell by 80 MW in March as domestic generation drops further. “Nepal’s hydropower potential must be tapped to reduce the import of electricity and other sources of energy like fossil fuels,” said Bhandari. “This kind of event will play a crucial role in identifying bottlenecks in the development of hydropower projects and pave the way for solutions which will promote hydropower development in the country.”
Various stakeholders involved in the hydropower sector like developers, investors, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, banks and construction companies are taking part in the three-day event which has been organised by the Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal (Ippan) in association with Event Management Services.
Ippan is the umbrella body of private sector hydropower developers. The expo hosts around 200 stalls exhibiting various equipment and technology that can be used in the construction of hydropower projects. Participants from China, Czech Republic, India, Korea, Nepal, Norway, Germany, Austria and other countries are taking part in the expo. Multinational companies like CMC Italy, VOITH-Germany, CRYSTAL-India, FLOVEL-India, VAPTECH-Bulgaria, MAVEL-Czech Republic, BFL-India, Powerchina-China and CSEC-China are among the star attractions.
“The expo will be beneficial for those wishing to develop hydropower projects or invest in them,” said Ippan President Sailendra Guragain. “The event will also be a big help for those wanting to import the latest technologies and arrange funds for the development of large hydropower projects in order to meet the government’s plan to generate 17,000 MW in seven years.”
The organisers have dedicated the first day of the event to technical sessions where different participants will give demonstrations of hydropower technologies and showcase hydropower related products and services. Similarly, the second day of the event will prioritise business sessions with banks and insurance companies exhibiting their products related to hydropower. On the third day, the organisers will host seminars and workshops on key hydropower issues.
The organisers will also be hosting a competition of hydro-related products and services developed by students. The best innovator will be awarded a cash prize of Rs55,555. The second and third place winners will receive cash prizes of Rs22,222 and Rs11,111 respectively.