Tunnel Highway gets Rs 1 billion from new investors


TBI Holdings, a group promoted by the Non-Resident Nepalis, made an announcement on Wednesday to invest Rs 1 billion on Nepal Purbhadhaar Bikas Company (NPBC). The amount will be invested on the Kathmandu-Hetauda Tunnel Highway. Bhawan Bhatta, chairman of TBI Holdings, and Kush Kumar Joshi, chairman of the NPBC signed an agreement on Wednesday to this effect. The amount will be the biggest investment for the project by a single group.

The tunnel highway is being built with an investment of around Rs 35 billion from the general people, private sector, local government bodies and non-resident Nepalis. After the completion of the four-lane highway, travellers will be able reach Hetauda from Kathmandu within an hour. Currently, people either have to travel 133 km along the Tribhuvan Highway or 227 km along the Prithvi Highway to reach Hetauda from the Capital.

Struggling to attract greater investments, the NPBC had recently cancelled the Rs 1 million ceiling set for institutional investors. The company expects to attract greater investments from prospective local and international financiers with the cap off as it has been having a hard time finding money for the Rs 35-billion project.

Nepal Purbadhar had planned to put together Rs 10.46 billion in share investments from promoters and the local people of Kathmandu, Makwanpur and Hetauda and around Rs 18 billion in debt financing. Similarly, it has been planning to make an IPO worth Rs 6.97 billion. The tunnel highway is being developed as a 4P initiative-private, people, public and partnership under Private Financing in Build and Operation of Infrastructures Act. The proposed highway will be 58 km long and link Kathmandu with Hetauda, an industrial hub in the south.

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