The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI) has proposed the Japanese government to invest in the 426-megawatt Nalgadh hydropower project.
In a programme organised today at the MoEWRI, Energy Minister Barsha Man Pun proposed to the Japanese Ambassador to Nepal, Masamichi Saigo, to invest in Nepal’s energy sector with special focus on the Nalgadh hydropower project.
Earlier, the government had included Nalgadh hydropower project in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with expectations of developing the hydroelectricity project through Chinese assistance. However, Nepali authorities failed to negotiate and conclude an agreement with the Chinese government to develop the project.
During Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China between June 19 and 24, a few agreements related to the development of energy sector were signed between Nepal and China. Agreements were signed to construct the Kyirong-Rasuwagadhi-Galchhi-Ratamate 400kV transmission line, the 164-megawatt Kaligandaki Gorge Hydropower Project and the 40.27MW Siuri Nyadi Hydropower Project. However, there was no agreement regarding the Nalgadh project.
During the meeting, Minister Pun apprised the Japanese ambassador that the Nalgadh hydropower project was in the basket of projects that the government wants to develop and was in a ready-to-develop condition, as per a press statement issued by the ministry.
On June 2, the MoEWRI had unveiled a white paper and made an announcement to mark the years from 2018 to 2028 as the ‘Decade of Energy and Hydropower’ so as to realise the dream of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. The white paper includes an ambitious plan of producing 15,000 megawatts of electricity within 10 years.
The concept of ‘energy decade’ has been initiated to expedite energy production in a strategic manner in the short-term, medium-term and long-term.
“We expect the Japanese government to invest in the energy sector of Nepal and we also believe that the Japanese government will help Nepal with financial assistance in the form of grants, soft loans and investments,” the statement quoted Pun as saying.
During the meeting, Ambassador Saigo mentioned that the relations between Nepal and Japan had been cordial throughout the years and that the Japanese government was eager to invest in the energy and water resources sector of Nepal.
He also mentioned that the Japanese government had already made investments in the education, health and infrastructure sectors in Nepal. Ambassador Saigo also spoke about the Japanese government’s assistance in developing the Kulekhani-I and Kulekhani-II storage projects and Kaligandaki A hydropower project and pledged further support to Nepal.