7 Sindhupalchok projects cease power generation

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    AFTERMATH: The penstock pipe of the Bhote Kosi hydropower plant has been badly damaged, its powerhouse submerged (below) and access roads blocked by landslides. Photos: Bhote Kosi Power Company
    AFTERMATH: The penstock pipe of the Bhote Kosi hydropower plant has been badly damaged, its powerhouse submerged (below) and access roads blocked by landslides. Photos: Bhote Kosi Power Company

    CHAUTARA , JUN 14 – Seven hydropower projects with a combined capacity of 72MW in Sindhupalchok have ceased generation since the April 25 Great Earthquake, resulting in millions of losses.

     

    Project officials said due to high risk of landslides, it is uncertain when the project would be repaired and resumed. Besides the 102MW Madhya-Bhotekoshi, four other under-construction projects have also sustained damages. Most of the projects have been expected to take more than a year to be repaired. Geneartion at Bhotekoshi (45MW), Sunkoshi (10.5MW), Old Chaku (6.5MW), Bhairavkund (3.5MW), Baramchi (3.2MW), Sano Sunkoshi (2.6MW), and Mathilo Handikhola (1MW), among others, has been halted. The 45MW Bhotekoshi project has been hit hard. “Based on a preliminary estimate, it will take at least a year to resume generation from the project after it is repaired,” said project chief Narendra Prajapati.

    On Tuesday, a technical team reached the project site. “As the project is located at high-risk area, we are more focused on preventing the project from further damages from landslides,” he said.

    Last August, transmission towers of the project were damaged by landslides along the Araniko Highway halting the power generation.

    Repair work on seven towers was further halted after various political parties started to obstruct the work demanding shares allocation. And as the power generation resumed, the earthquake wrecked havoc.

    The 10.5MW Sunkoshi hydro project had to stop production after the water channel was damaged by the earthquake. The project has started repairing the channel.

    Another under-construction projectm, Upper Chaku, has also sustained significant damages. Umesh Kasaju, executive chairman of Shivashree Hydro, said transmission lines, power house and tunnel have been totally damaged.

    “Due to the risk of landslides, it is not possible to repair the project promptly,” he said, adding the project has been facing millions of losses. Repair of Old Chaku hydro is also difficult during this four-month monsoon, he said.

    Source : eKantipur