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Investment and infrastructure: Nepal and Bhutan

World Cement,

Read part 2 here.


Nepal, which is said to hold 2.27% of the world’s water resources with 6000 rivers, claims to be one of the world’s richest countries in inland water – a potential that India and China are keen to exploit with the generation of hydroelectric power. Not surprising that both Asian giants have expressed interest in helping Nepal to develop this industry. India is desperate for more electricity – a need Nepal could quench with its water resource reserves. China faces a serious water resource crunch due to acute water pollution, which its government fears may impact food production and hence economic growth. Only 40% of Nepal’s population has access to electricity, but it is encouraging to know that the country’s hydropower potential is 40 000 MW. Watch to find out how India and China will compete and negotiate for investment opportunities in that industry.


The Asian Development Bank has projected that Bhutan’s economic growth for 2014 will be 6%. As the construction industry picks up – and especially hydropower construction projects under the Eleventh Five-Year Plan get underway – growth could increase to 6.8% in 2015. In April of this year, India and Bhutan signed a framework agreement to build four hydropower units totalling 2120 MW. These are in addition to three other projects totalling 1416 MW that are already operational. An Indian official is reported to have said, “Our hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation. The hydropower projects generate export revenues for Bhutan, consolidate our economic partnership and provide clean and low-cost electricity in India.”

Written by Paul Maxwell-Cook. This is an abridged version of the full article, which appeared in the October 2014 issue of World Cement. Subscribers can view the full article by logging in.

Sources: see part 1.

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