State-owned power utility Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has appointed a contractor to upgrade the 132 kV Blanch-Attariya transmission line. The crucial power line connects the country’s far western region to the national grid.
Last week, the NEA selected Sigma Con to improve the 131-km single circuit transmission to double circuit. The improvement project will permit 180 MW of electricity to be generated by various hydropower projects in the region to be evacuated. A single circuit power transmission system allows three phase transmission while a double circuit system allows six phase transmission ensuring greater reliability and efficiency.
“Last week, we signed a contract with Sigma Con and it has two years to complete the project,” said Nava Raj Ojha, NEA appointed project chief of the Blanch-Attariya Transmission Line Project. “The company has informed us that it will deploy its personnel to the project site by the end of February.”
As a single circuit transmission line is already in place, the contractor will not face obstacles from the community while upgrading the power line to double circuit, according to Ojha. “All the contractor needs to do is string another set of electric cables between the existing towers,” he said.
However, considering the difficult terrain, the NEA has given a two-year deadline to complete the transmission line project. “The contractor has to string electric cables between towers erected on mountainous terrain which is a very difficult task,” said Ojha. “Also, they are upgrading power lines which are in operation which is risky. Therefore, the contractor has been given ample time to finish the job.”
The single circuit Blanch-Attariya Transmission Line came into operation in November 2017 and is currently transmitting electricity generated by the 30 MW Chameliya Hydropower Project developed by the NEA, and the 8.5 MW Naugad Hydropower Project developed by Api Power.
The transmission line project was slated to be completed by 2014, but various factors, including problems in acquiring private and forest land, pushed back the completion date.
The single circuit power line was developed under the financial aid of the Korean government with infrastructure including towers able to support a double circuit system.
The transmission line connects Darchula district with the far western business hub of Attariya. Apart from Chameliya and Naugad, the power line will be vital in evacuating electricity generated by the 86 MW Chameliya Chhattisgad, 40 MW Upper Chameliya, 54 MW Kalangagadh and other plants that are under construction in the region.
“Once the double circuit transmission line comes into operation, the infrastructure will be enough to evacuate the power generated in the region for the next five to six years,” said Ojha.
Source : The Kathmandu Post