Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has mentioned that industries in Nepal are in big trouble due to 12 to 16 hours of load shedding in the industrial sector. The apex body of business community issued a press release on Saturday, requesting Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to solve the problem of power outage without any delay.
“Along with the country’s major industrial corridors, hundreds of industrial units have been hit by the 12 to 16 hours of load-shedding for the past few days without any notice,” FNCCI said in the press release it issued. “The private sector is worried that this could lead to extensive economic losses for industries, adversely affecting productivity and leading to a serious crisis in the country’s economy.”
FNCCI has also drawn attention of Nepal Government on the situation caused due to prolonged power outages where tripping, low voltage and other problems prevent the industries from operating as per the regular schedule. FNCCI had also focused on problems such as machines being damaged due to frequent power outages, wastage of raw materials and wages of workers in case of non-operation of industries as well as financial hurdles and requested the government and NEA to solve these problems without any delay. The statement said that FNCCI has to remind the electricity authority that it has repeatedly committed in the past to prevent power shortage and load-shedding in the industrial sector by purchasing the required electricity at any cost. “We are worried this kind of problem will create huge obstacles in the country’s efforts toward industrialization. On the other hand, NEA is requesting to increase power consumption but interrupting the power supply for hours without prior notice added to the worries.”
FNCCI has also requested the government to take immediate steps to ensure regular supply of electricity to Nepal through diplomatic channels with India for an immediate solution to the existing problem. The Government sector has been saying that currently the country has installed plants to generate 2100 MW of electricity in wet season so consumption need to be extended focusing on industries, transportation and domestic uses. In this this dry season, around 900 MW of electricity is being generated in the country whereas the internal demand of the power is 1500 MW to 1,600 MW.
NEA is responsible to manage the gap between generation and demand to be filled by importing electricity from India.But India itself has been facing energy shortage due to increased coal price in the international market. Consequently India had informed power supply cut to Nepal for the time being. Thus, NEA is forced to impose load shedding in industrial sector.
Thus, the country should develop some storage type projects like Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project at the earliest. However, the country must bring in reliable solutions as an alternative to generate clean energy to manage till storage type hydropower projects constructed. Notably, construction of such power plant takes around 8 years to complete. It may take more time as construction time extension is a normal incident in Nepal.