Known for his contribution in promoting small micro-hydro and technical institutions in Nepal, Odd Hoftun, a Norwegian renowned Electrical Engineer, true friend of Nepal & Nepalese people and a true missionary leader is no more. Hoftun died on 15 March 2023, at the age of 95.
Contributed significantly in the development of Nepal, Hoftun had actively contributed professional life specially in Nepal for nearly 40 years starting from 1958 to 1996.
“Butwal Technical Institute ( BTI ) was established as a project of the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) under an agreement between Government of Nepal (GoN) and the UMN in 1963. Odd Hoftun, a Norwegian Engineer was deputed for the construction of Tansen Mission Hospital by UMN. During the construction of hospital he could not find local skilled person. He initiated for the establishment of BTI as an apprenticeship training centre,” writes BTI website.
Hoftun was further a pioneer and key person in the early development of hydropower in Nepal, through Butwal Power Company Ltd., Himal Hydro Ltd., and Nepal Hydro and Electric (P) Ltd.all initiated by Hoftun under UMN.
Hoftun was instrumental in the design, development and construction of Tinau Hydropower Plant, not far from Butwal. The power plant is the first run-of-the-river plant in Nepal.
Walking the distance from Butwal to Tansen during the construction of Tansen Mission Hospital, he thought of the possibility to develop a watering channel and a tunnel for power. The idea materialized as the Andhi Khola Hydropower Station. The community project which was developed around it received the United Nations Blue Planet Prize in 2004.
Hoftun was also important in the development of Jhimruk Khola Hydropower Station and the Khimti I Hydropower Plant.
Hoftun received several decorations from the King of Nepal, and was decorated Knight, First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 1990.
He first built UMN funded Tansen Mission Hospital followed by Tinau 500 kW which was later upgraded to 1 MW hydropower plant near the industrial town Butwal in 1970s.
He had a pioneer leading role to establish many industries and engineering institutions, like Butwal Technical Institute (BTI) for vocational training, Design consulting services (DCS) for engineering design, Nepal Hydro & Electrics (NHE) for manufacturing steel structures for hydropower projects, Butwal Power Company (BPC) for design and operation of Hydro plants and rural electrifications and Himal Hydro (HH) for construction, all these institutions based initially in Butwal.
Later in 1980s, he led UMN funded 5 MW Adhikhola hydropower and irrigation project, NORAD funded 12 MW Jhimruk Hydropower and Rural Electrification Project. Norwegian institutions funded 60 MW Khimti Hydropower Project was also constructed under the leadership of Mr. Hoftun.
He was honored by several decorations from the King of Nepal, and was decorated Knight, First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 1990.
“Recently, Nepal’s and Nepalese people’s true lover and well-wisher Mr. Hoftun expired at the age of 95. I pay tribute and pray for his departed soul to rest in peace in Haven and deep condolences to his deprived families and friends in Norway, Nepal and rest of the world. You have left a lot of good memories in Nepal. You will always be remembered by Nepalese people!!” writes Krishna Aryal in his face book wall.
VOL. 16, No. 19, May.26, 2023 (Jestha,12. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
VOL. 16, No. 18, May.05, 2023 (Baisakh 22. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
VOL. 16, No. 17, April.21, 2023 (Baisakh 08. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75