First, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Minister of Energy Shakti Bahadur Basnet for his affection and cooperation in this Upper Trishuli-1 project.
I would like to congratulate on hosting the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the Upper Trishuli-1 Hydropower Project of NWEDC (Nepal Water and Energy Development Company) by KOEN. I am pleased to be here to celebrate this meaningful moment today.
As you may aware, KOEN, a leading company in South Korea’s Energy Industry decided to make a big investment to build a hydroelectric power plant in Nepal more than a decade ago. KOEN established a coporation called NWEDC in Nepal to globally co-finance with 9 large lenders like IFC, ADB and investors such as KIND. And it signed a construction contract with a reliable Korean company, DOOSAN Enerbility to carry out the project.
It was a long journey to proceed with this project including signing the contracts with Nepal government and the lenders. There were difficulties in the middle such as the 2015 Nepal earthquake, but I am happy to see today’s grand ceremony here after problems solved well. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Nepalese government officials and lenders for their efforts to make today’s event come true, as well as the Korean businessmen from KOEN, KIND and DOOSAN Enerbility.
I would like to express my special thanks to high level officials from the Ministry of Energy, CEO of Investment Board Nepal (IBN), Sushil Bhatta and the Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Mr. KulmanGhising.
Nepal, graduating from the Least Developed Countries(LDC) in 2026, plans to develop its own economy through hydroelectric power strategy. To this end, attracting overseas investment is essential. The Upper Trishuli-1 project is an excellent example of building Nepal's infrastructure through large-scale private foreign investment. This project will be successfully carried out and attract more foreign investment to Nepal in the future. In addition, I would like to ask for the support and cooperation of the Nepalese government for Korean companies to finalize this important project and invest and do more business in Nepal.
The Upper Trishuli-1 project would be a model project for Nepal's hydroelectric development. And it will improve the lives of local people. This Project is the first in Southwest Asia to introduce the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) to provide employment programs for local communities and contribute to improving the quality of their life. It is impressive to witness co-prosperity and active communication with the Nepalese local community beyond simply economic benefits.
The UT-1 project is the third hydropower project after Chamelya in 2018 and Modi Khola in 2000. In this regard, Korean companies’ investment to Nepal improves Nepal's economy and also plays an important role in strengthening friendly relations between our two countries. Korea is the fourth investing partner to Nepal after China, India and United States. I admire the honorable Prime Minister’s Vision and leadership and strong will to transform Nepal into foreign investment friendly destination. I believe this vision could be realized in near future. In this journey, I would say Korea could be a good friend (RamroSaathi) in terms of foreign investment in Energy sector in Nepal.
On the occasion of marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year, I, as South Korean Ambassador, will continue to work closely with the Nepal government to further promote economic investment and cooperation between Nepal and Korea, especially in Energy Sector.
Park Tae-Young is a South Korean Ambassador to Nepal. Excerpts of the statement delivered by him at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Upper Trishul-1 hydropower project.