Pasakha Industrial Estate

6 new ferrosilicon plants in Norbugang to be completed by 2025

The Norbugang region in Samtse, Bhutan is set to become an industrial hub with the completion of six ferrosilicon plants by 2025.

Initially, plans included seven plants in Jigmeling Industrial Park, Sarpang, but it has now been revised to six, with five located in Norbugang, Samtse, and one in Motanga Industrial Park, Samdrupjongkhar.

The community of Norbugang granted clearance for this project in September 2023.

A private firm, MBBL, in Samtse had previously made a proposal to set up a ferrosilicon plant at Norbugang, which received clearance from the gewog, however, it was later reported that villagers signed a petition against the establishment of the plant in 2021.

In conversation with Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment (MoICE), Lyonpo Karma Dorji, “The company will do their work, and the government allocate the government land and other facilities, such as road and water in the industrial estate. If there is need of a bridge, government will do that as well. The electricity power will be provided by the Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC).”

The estimated cost for the Norbugang’s infrastructure is approximately Nu 3.6 billion, with Nu 1.6 billion allocated for roads and water facilities and Nu 2 billion for electricity.

“We’re done with the consultation with the community and have got the allocation and clearance on 12 September 2023. The issue we’ve is the shortage of electricity, especially during the winter since we aren’t able to produce enough for ourselves and import from India,” Lyonpo added.

The combined capacity of these ferrosilicon plants is expected to be around 300 MW. The total project will require around 500MW of electricity power.

The successful completion of this venture is anticipated to significantly boost Bhutan’s economy, given the high export demand for ferrosilicon.

Norbugang in Samtse is set to emerge as a new industrial estate in the country.

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