Date(s) - April 8, 2023
7:00 am - 8:30 am

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In Remembrance of  Mr. Odd Hoftun, his Life and Legacy


What Went Right: Sustainability versus Dependence in Nepal’s Hydropower Development

Download abridged version of the Book in PDF


Saturday April 8, 2023:   7:00-8:30 AM US Pacific time.


About the Event:

With great sadness we learned of Mr. Odd Hoftun’s passing. Coincidentally, just a few months ago, Cambridge University Press (2022) had published the book “What Went Right: Sustainability versus Dependence in Nepal’s Hydropower Development” written by Mark Liechty.  This book eloquently presents the legacy of Mr. Hoftun and his contribution in creating Nepal’s first private hydropower development company – Butwal Power Company (BPC), its affiliate enterprises, and how he pioneered, nurtured, promoted and advocated for private sector hydropower industry in Nepal. We have invited Prof. Liechty to be our main Guest Speaker of the event to highlight Mr. Hoftun’s legacy and to discuss the Lessons learned from Hydropower Development in Nepal.


Mr. Odd Hoftun 

(December 27, 1927 – March 15, 2023)

Odd Hoftun, a citizen of Norway, an electrical engineer and a missionary, who went to Nepal in 1956 through United Mission to Nepal (UMN). His first assignment was to help build a hospital in Tansen. However, while in Nepal, he saw a great potential to contribute to Nepal’s overall economic growth through hydropower development and to train local manpower in the process. Upon completion of the hospital construction, Hoftun continued working in Nepal and created a family of hydropower enterprises, and built the foundation of the hydropower industry in Nepal. He dedicated most of his life in developing and training human capital, promoting private sector hydropower industry by creating specialized corporate offspring and advocating for sustainable economic development of Nepal. He retired in 1995 and returned to Norway, but he continuously supported and advocated for his brainchild -BPC- in Nepal. He lived a very frugal, but extraordinary life, and positively impacted lives of many in Nepal and beyond. Mr. Hoftun received decorations from the King of Nepal, and was decorated Knight, First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit in 1990.


Main Speaker: Mark Liechty

Mark Liechty is a professor of Anthropology and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA. Prof. Liechty is the author of the book What Went Right: Sustainability vs. Dependence in Nepal’s Hydropower Development (Cambridge, 2022). He has been a student of Nepali history and culture for over three decades. He is author or editor of six books on modern Nepal, middle-class culture, tourism, and development. Since its founding in 1996 he has been co-editor of the journal Studies in Nepali History and Society. He is currently working on an edited book entitled Nepal in the Long 1950s.

Other Speakers, who have worked with Mr. Odd Hoftun in Nepal at different times, are:

  • Mark Gill – Senior Hydropower Consultant, Mott MacDonald, UK
  • Suman Basnet – Team Leader of the Nepal Renewable Energy Programme, Nepal
  • Dan Jantzen – Managing Director, Butwal Paxman Group, LLC, USA
  • Ratna Sansar Shrestha – Independent Consultant and Water Resources Expert, Nepal
  • Moderator: Bikash Pandey – Innovation Lead, Winrock International, USA

2 thoughts on “April-2023

  1. Indira says:

    Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Peace be on the departed soul.

  2. Michael Leane says:

    A truly remarkable man. So humble and frugal in person but a huge impact on energy development in Nepal. Sorry to have missed the 8 Apr forum. Was it recorded ?

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