THIMPU (BHUTAN), Feb 14

    BhutanBhutan, which is geographically much smaller and also has low hydropower potential than Nepal, aims to increase its installed capacity to 11576 MW within the next five years. Nepal will hardly generate 3000 MW by that time despite starting generation much before Bhutan. Nepal will have to still wait for a few decades to match that despite the experts putting our hydropower potential at around 300,000 MW. It is just 30,000 MW for Bhutan.

    Bhutan aims to complete 10 big projects, which are currently under construction, in the next five years. The Bhutanese government provides 100 units of electricity free of cost to each of its 750,000 citizens. Bhutan had generated just 353 MW until 2000 MW. It has now increased that to 1610 MW. Installed capacity of Nepal is just 750 MW.

    Projects with installed capacity of 180 MW to 4000 MW currently are being constructed in Bhutan. All these five projects will be completed within five years. Bhutan has even implemented the Hydro Mission 2020 for hydropower development. “Hydropower and tourism have been prioritized. We aim to make the country prosperous through development of these sectors,” Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay states. He says the country aims to attract foreign investment after hydropower development and raise per capita income of Bhutanese people to US$ 10,000. “Hydropower sector will contribute 60 percent to the total income of Bhutan after completion of these projects,” he adds.

    All the projects under construction have Indian investment. He reveals that hydropower development has been moved forward in a way to maximize use of resources for benefit of both the countries. He claims that installed capacity will be increased to 15000 MW by 2022. “We have been working to add 2000 MW every year,” he says.

    Punatsangchhu-1 will start to generate 1200 MW from this year. Construction of the project was started in 2008. Similarly, Mangdechhu HEP will start generating 720 MW from 2016. Punatsangchhu-2 (1000 MW) will be completed in 2019. Bunakha Reservoir Project will start generating 180 MW from 2016. Wangchu Reservoir Project (900 MW) will start generation from 2017. Chhamkarchu-1 will also start generating 670 MW from 2017. Kholonchu (486 MW) will also be completed in 2017. Omchhu Reservoir HEP (620 MW) will be finished in 2018.

    Kuri Gongri (1800 MW) will be completed in 2019. Sunkosh Reservoir Project (4000 MW), the largest hydropower project of Bhutan, will be completed in 2020. Its construction was started in 2011.

    Source : Karobar Daily