Government to dangle $24 billion worth of potential projects before investors

Mar 22, 2019-

The government plans to dangle nearly 70 potential projects with a combined estimated value of $24 billion before foreign and domestic investors at the Nepal Investment Summit slated for next week.

On Thursday, Investment Board Nepal finalised 47 small and mega schemes to present to investors. They include three international airports, two railways, two hospitals, a metro, a chemical fertiliser plant and luxury resorts.

The details of the projects have been posted on the investment summit website. The two-day gathering begins on March 29. The government has divided the projects into seven categories--transport infrastructure, agriculture, education and health, tourism infrastructure, urban infrastructure, hydropower and private sector.

“We are yet to finalise the projects under the private sector category,” said a senior Investment Board official. “We will have at least 70 projects in our project bank.” The official added that government projects worth $22 billion and private sector projects valued at $2 billion would be offered to potential investors.

There are 11 projects in the list of transport infrastructure. According to Investment Board Nepal, Nijgadh International Airport in Bara is the largest scheme in terms of value. The airport is expected to cost $6.5 billion and is proposed to be built in three phases with the first phase valued at $545 million. These cost estimates are based on a detailed feasibility study conducted seven years ago. The 77-km Kathmandu Valley Metro Project with five routes is the second largest project in terms of investment. The project is estimated to cost $5.4 billion.

The Mechi-Mahakali or east-west electrified railway is the third largest project in terms of investment. The 945-km railway is expected to cost $3 billion. The 187-km Pokhara-Kathmandu railway is estimated to cost $2.8 billion, according to the government’s project profile.

Under rapid public transport, a $2.3 billion electric bus project on the Ramgram-Tilaurakot route, which forms part of the Buddhist Circuit, will be offered to investors. The electric bus route is 69 km long.

In the hydropower sector, the West Seti and Seti River  (SR-6)—a joint  storage project with a capacity of 1,200 MW is the biggest hydropower project among eight hydro projects that will be showcased at the summit.     The project is estimated to cost $2.02 billion. Similarly, the 679 MW Lower Arun Hydropower project, located in Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts, is the second largest project, according to Investment Board Nepal.     The project’s estimated cost is $1.3 billion, based on a Department of Electricity Development report prepared in 2017. The 756 MW Tamor Storage Hydropower Project located in Panchthar and Tehrathum districts will cost $1.2 billion based on the feasibility study conducted by the Nepal Electricity Authority in 2016.

In the agriculture sector, the government plans to present eight projects. A $650 million chemical fertiliser plant is the largest among agriculture sector projects.

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