950 m units of electricity from Rasuwagadi, Sanjen to be wasted

CHILIME (RASUWA), March 2

trl-energyA total of 950 million units of electricity to be generated from Rasuwagadi, Upper Sanjen and Lower Sanjen projects is set to be wasted annually with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) set to fail to construct transmission line in time.

The situation is arising as even preliminary works of the construction of 26-kilometer 220-KV transmission line to connect the generated electricity from Chilime to Trishuli 3B have not been started. The combined installed capacity of these three projects is 168 MW and the price of wasted electricity will be Rs 4.75 billion even at the rate of Rs 5 per unit. Construction of these projects has already started aiming to start generation by 2017. The upper and lower Sanjen projects are scheduled to be completed by 2016 and Rasuwagadi by 2017.

NEA has informally advised the promoters to delay construction of the project by a year stating that it will finish transmission line by 2018. NEA and officials of the promoting companies are currently holding discussions about it. Electricity from the two Sanjen projects will be wasted for two years and that from Rasuwagadi for a year if the projects are constructed in time, and the transmission line is only completed in 2018. NEA will have to compensate the promoter companies at the rate of five percent if the electricity is wasted. Even NEA officials concede that construction of transmission line will not be completed before 2018 as environmental impact assessment (EIA), detailed project report (DPR), land acquisition, permission from the environment and forest ministries, arrangement of investment, appointment of consultant, contract process and other procedural works will have to be completed. The transmission line does not look likely to be completed before four years as land acquisition, and receiving permission from the ministries takes a long time. There is currently a big problem in land acquisition.

Chief of the Chilime-Trishuli 3B Hub Kedar Silwal said that it will be hard to finish construction in the scheduled time as preliminary works have just started. “It looks difficult to complete construction of the transmission line as per the schedule even though we have started works. But we are trying to complete it within the stipulated time,” he added. The German development bank, KfW, has agreed to provide grant for construction of the transmission line while Lahmeyer International of Germany is preparing the DPR. The place to construct sub-station hub to connect electricity generated from the three projects also has not been finalized yet. All three projects are being constructed by the companies under Chilime Hydropower Company—Rasuwagadi Hydropwoer Limited and Sanjen Hydropower Company Limited. The installed capacity of Rasuwagadi is 111 MW, Lower Sanjen 42.5 MW and Upper Sanjen 14.8 MW. Rasuwagadi will generate 613 million units of electricity a year, Lower Sanjen 251.90 million units and Upper Sanjen 85 million units, according to the feasibility reports. The estimated project cost of Rasuwagadi is Rs 13.68 billion excluding interest during the construction period and that of the two Sanjen projects is Rs 7.24 billion.

Managing Director of Rasuwagadi Hydropower Limited Madhav Koirala claimed that there will be problems due to delay in construction of transmission line though the company is fully prepared to complete the project in schedule. Chief of Sanjen Ram Gopal Shivakoti also claimed that work is being done to complete both the projects by 2016.

The majority of projects that have signed power purchase agreement (PPA) with NEA have not been constructed due to delay in construction of transmission lines. Works of many transmission lines have been stopped as contracts have been awarded without completing the processes of land acquisition and receiving permission from the forest and environment ministries.

Similar state of Sanimamai   

Electricity from 22 MW Sanimamai Hydropower Project is also set to go in waste due to slow progress in construction of 30-kilometer transmission line from Damak to Godak even as promoter Sanimamai Hydropower Limited is constructing the hydroproject with an aim of completing it by July. The project will generate 128 million units of electricity a year.

NEA plans to add 40 MW of electricity to the national grid, including that generated from Sanimamai, in the current fiscal year. Director of the project Subarna Das Shrestha claimed that the project will be completed by mid-July at the latest.

Similarly, electricity generated by the 10 MW Sipringkhola Hydroproject constructed two years ago by Synergy Power in Dolakah is also being wasted. The Singati-Lamasanghu 132 KV transmission line that the government had to construct to bring the electricity generated to the load center in Kathmandu has yet to be completed. Some of the electricity generated from the project is being used for construction of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydroproject.

Source : Karobar Daily