October 8: Around 500 small and big industries in the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor are bearing monthly loss of more than Rs 2 billion due to irregular power supply.
The daily loss due to power tripping is Rs 70 million, according to the industries. The industrialists claim that they have to bear a loss of Rs 70 million per day due to the waste of raw material, damage to machinery and reprocessing costs caused by irregular power supply. Even though Kulman Ghising has been appointed as the Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority for the second time, the industrialists have said that the power supply to the industrial sector has not improved.
Due to the irregular power supply, the industry has not been able to produce goods as per the target.
Chairman of the Chamber of Industries (CIA) Morang, Suyash Raj Pyakurel, said that the problem was due to the government's focus on power generation but not upgrading the transmission line.
He said that the industries in the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor are still suffering from electricity shortage. Industries have been losing up to 20 percent in raw materials and production due to tripping of electricity three to four times a day.
The medium-sized plastics industry is losing between Rs 75,000 to Rs 100,000 daily. The processing cost is doubled and its compensation cannot be done from anywhere.
Rakesh Surana, former vice-president of CIA Morang and energy coordinator, said that the plastic, iron and cement industries had to bear more losses due to irregular power supply in the Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor. Along with electricity tripping, he said that they have to pay 17 to 22 percent more in electricity tariff due to low voltage.
Due to the low quality of electricity, the industries are suffering a loss of Rs 15.5 million, raw material worth Rs 40 million and machinery worth Rs 10 million is being damaged daily. He complained that it was difficult for industries to balance demand and supply.
Manish Maru, operator of Bandhan Cement, said that 13 cement factories in Province 1 were losing 14,000 tons of raw material to produce cement daily due to power supply problems. According to him, the daily loss to the cement industry is Rs 19.6 million and this does not include the loss due to the damage of the machinery and the failure to produce as per the target.
Moreover, he said that the lack of quality electricity could lead to higher production costs and higher prices. He said, “The government should compensate the industries for their loss due to the irregularities in power supply.”
Rajesh Regmi, chief of the Nepal Electricity Authority's Duhabi grid, said that the tripping was a problem as the old transmission lines were carrying more load than they could bear. He said that he had suggested changing the transmission line to the higher authorities.