Bagmati Hydro project to begin test operation by mid-March


The 22-megawatt Bagmati Hydroelectric project in Makwanpur is slated to begin trail production by mid-March, four years after the construction started.

The project said that 99 percent of the civil and electromechanical works of the project have been completed.

The project had initially planned to generate electricity by mid-November last year, but the deadline was postponed due to a delay in installing the penstock pipe. The penstock pipe is a long channel that carries water down from the hydroelectric reservoir to the turbines inside the power station.

“Only 7 metres, out of a total 600 metre pipe installation is left, which will take more than a week to complete,” said project engineer Shishir Devkota.

The project—a joint venture between Mandu Hydropower Company and a Chinese company—is being constructed with an investment of Rs4 billion.

Ratna Bomjan, residential engineer of the project, said that penstock works halted due to rainfall. “It’s also at a risky site.” He said that 99 percent of the civil and electromechanical works of the project have been completed.  The main tunnel of the project is 2,424 metre long.

Around 100 workers are currently working at the powerhouse site.

Started in 2015, the project will be the first one to produce electricity from the Bagmati River that flows from the Kathmandu Valley.

The South Asian Infrastructure Company is constructing the civil components such as tunnel, dam and power house worth Rs1.29 billion.

The construction works was expedited with support from the local representatives, said Bomjan.

“We are expecting to begin commercial production in time and sell it to the Nepal Electricity Authority,” he said. As per the power purchase agreement signed between Mandu Hydropower and the authority, the project will sell electricity at Rs4.40 per unit during the rainy season and Rs8.40 in winter or dry season.

The electro mechanical works of the project have been assigned to a Chinese company. The power generated by the project will be linked to the national grid through the sub-station of Kulekhani I hydropower project in Dhorshing. The station is 13km away from the powerhouse. According to the project, 44 power line towers have already been erected to evacuate the electricity from the project to the national grid.

Locals are happy with the construction of the project. They are also helping to complete the project on time.

The company said it would be allocating shares to the locals affected by the project in villages such as Ipa Panchakanya, Sisneri, Kogate of Makwanpur and Malta and Dhusel of Lalitpur.

Source : The Kathmandu Post