70pc of works completed, says developer


    Jan 21, 2018-More than 70 percent of the construction work of the much awaited 220kV Gongor-Khimti Transmission Line Project, which is crucial to evacuate electricity generated from 456MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, has been completed. The 47km-long power lines is being developed by the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), which is also developing the hydropower project.

    The company has already pulled electric cables covering a 12-km stretch of the transmission line project. Out of 127 towers needed to complete the transmission line project, the developer has already erected 101 towers. Of the remaining works, it has already completed the foundation of 20 towers. The project office has said they are on track to complete the power line project before the hydropower project comes online. “We would complete the construction of the entire transmission line by the end of this fiscal year,” said Ganesh Neupane, spokesperson for the project.

    Having prepared the design of the substation at Khimti, the project is planning to start construction work within a month and complete it before the hydropower project starts generating electricity.

    The energy produced by the hydropower project will be evacuated to the substation at Khimti.

    Meanwhile, the construction work of the hydropower project is going on at war footing, as the company is busy installing electro- and hydro-mechanical equipment. “We have completed around 93 percent of the construction of the hydropower project,” said Neupane.

    Although the developer was planning to generate first units of electricity from the plant by July 2018, Neupane said it would be a huge challenge to meet the target due to poor conditions of the access road. “At present, we are facing difficulties is transporting various equipment to the project site due to poor road conditions,” he said. “This might push the completion date of the project by a couple of months.”

    After the Upper Tamakoshi roars into life, the NEA will be in a position to export electricity to neighbouring India. The state-owned power utility is one of the promoters of the project.

    During the wet season, surplus energy can be transmitted over the Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line to the Dhalkebar substation and on to the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line for export to India.

    The national pride project was originally scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2016, but the earthquake, Indian trade blockade and various technical and social issues pegged back the completion date. Before the earthquake hit the country, the project had completed 79 percent of the civil works. It faced cost overruns due to the delays. The project is now expected to cost Rs42 billion, up from the previous estimate of Rs35.3 billion.

    Nevertheless, the project is considered to be a model project which is being developed with indigenous resources and the significant participation of project-affected locals and the general public.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post