3 design options given for 600 MW Budhi Gandaki

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    KATHMANDU, MAR 11 –

    A French power consultant Tractebel Engineering has proposed three different design options to build the planned reservoir-type Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project in Dhading.

    In a report submitted to the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project Development Committee on March 1, the consultant to the 600 MW project has suggested design options consisting of damsite powerhouse, short tunnel and long tunnel.

    The committee said that it would select one of the designs within the third week of March and proceed to conduct a detailed project report (DPR).

    Budhigandaki

    Under the first option (damsite powerhouse), the powerhouse will be constructed alongside the dam. The report has stated that the powerhouse should be around 2 km downstream from the damsite and above a place where the Budhi Gandaki joins the Trishuli.

    Under this option, a regulating dam will be constructed to control the flow of water during power generation during peak hours. As per the report, if the project is constructed under the first option, it will take at least 77 months to be completed.

    The two dams will be linked by a tunnel where one more sub-project can be constructed. However, a study on the cost of the sub-project and its capacity has not been conducted.

    Under the second option (short tunnel), the powerhouse will be constructed at Benighat which is 1.5 km downstream from the dam. Under this option, the project will take at least 71 months to be completed. As per the third option (long tunnel), the powerhouse will be built 8 km from the dam at Fisling.

    “We will select one of the three options after which the DPR process will start,” said Laxmi Prasad Devkota, executive chairman of the committee.

    The consultant company has suggested constructing a sub-project while implementing any one of the three options. “So far, the first option seems to be the best one. The consultant company is also of the same view,” Devkota said.

    The report has mentioned that if the height of the dam is increased from 520 m to 540 m, the plant’s capacity can be increased from 600 MW to 630 MW. The project capacity

    can be increased to 945 MW by upgrading the dam, the report said.

    “The inundation area will not increase much if we increase the height of the dam,” said Devkota. “The cost, however, will increase.”

    The report said that if the project is developed with a capacity of 630 MW, the cost of the project would be around Rs 209 billion. On this basis, the project will be able to generate 2,430 GW per hour on average per year, and the electricity generation will cost Rs 6.33 per unit.

    If the project is constructed with a capacity of 945 MW, the cost will increase by Rs 14 billion to Rs 223 billion.

    The plant will generate 2,524 GW per hour on average per year. However, the cost of the electricity generation is not stated.

    Devkota said that even if the capacity is increased, there won’t be much increment in energy generation. “However, if we need more electricity during peak hours, it would be better to go for a capacity of 945 MW.”

    According to him, if the project is built with a capacity of 630 MW, it will be easier to upgrade it to 945 MW in the future.

    Devkota said that a decision would be taken on which model to follow after going through wide consultations with the Ministry of Energy, experts and other concerned stakeholders.

    The committee has been given eight months to conduct the DPR after finalizing the design options. Devkota said that the tendering process will be completed within nine months after the completion of the DPR.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post