Nepal Energy Officials, Sri Lanka Hydropower Companies Discuss Potential Hydropower Investment
6 May 2022
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Nepal and the Export Development Board (EDB) of Sri Lanka jointly organized a webinar among the Nepal Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MOEWRI) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), and around 30 hydropower companies from Sri Lanka. The meeting held virtually on 6 May 2022 discussed investment potential in Nepal for hydropower development. It is part of a series of webinars organized by the Embassy with the EDB to explore opportunities in the construction services sector.
In his address, Mr. Suresh de Mel, Chairman of the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, highlighted the importance of the construction sector as an export service for Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan private sector’s expertise in hydropower. He underscored that Nepal would be an important regional market for Sri Lankan investors.
Ms. Himalee Arunatilaka, Sri Lankan Ambassador, noted Sri Lanka's expertise in small hydropower projects. She mentioned that prospects for joint collaborations abound, and these would be a valuable example of south-south and regional cooperation for achieving energy security.
Presentations by Nepal officials highlighted the following:
- Advantages of investing in Nepal’s hydropower sector, and procedures and guidelines for foreign investors. Nepal has the potential to generate 42,130MW of hydroelectricity that is technically and economically viable while only a fraction of that (1476MW) is being generated at present.
- Nepal encourages investment from neighboring countries as it plans to export its excess hydroelectricity to the region in the future, noted NEA's Managing Director Kul Man Ghising.
- Nepal hydropower has a positive investment climate. The Government has also set targets for power generation by 2028 for both the domestic market and export, according to the presentation by MOEWRI Joint Secretary Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal. He added that regional initiatives within SAARC and BIMSTEC provide a conducive environment for regional cooperation in the energy sector.
- Prospects for cross border power trading and the current generation capacity, and the transmission and storage infrastructure in place was discussed by NEA Director Prabal Adhikari. He further highlighted the importance of the private sector in hydro power generation in Nepal and noted that by 2025 Nepal hoped to completely eliminate dependence on imported power.
The Small Hydropower Developers' Association of Sri Lanka expressed their keen interest to invest in Nepal's hydropower sector.
LTL Holdings of Sri Lanka, which is already engaged in Nepal's hydropower sector, shared their experience of investing in Nepal.