KATHMANDU: The Department of Electricity Development will be constructing a hydro project after 27 years. The department, whose role was to issuing licence for hydro projects, is all set to construct Budhi Ganga hydro project (20 MW) with loan assistance from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
“The Ministry of Energy has given DoED authority to construct the project as it has huge technical manpower and at this time of crisis there is need to do something from the government side,” said Dinesh Ghimire, Superintendent Engineer at DoED.
Budhi Ganga is the medium size project located in Accham district. The government has finalised the draft loan agreement according to which Kuwait will fund $18 million and Saudi Arabia has committed to $20 million. The total estimated budget of the project is $54 million and Nepal government will invest $16 million. “We will start work on the project by the beginning of 2013. The project is expected to be completed by 2018,” added Ghimire.
Nepal Electricity Authority had conducted feasibility study of the project a decade ago and it was updated in 2010. According to DoED, it will take two years to complete Environmental Impact Assessment and Detail Engineering Study, after which it will take four years to construct the project. Sources said the government took this initiative after NEA could not develop the power sector as expected and because technical manpower was being wasted at the ministry. “It’s not to bypass NEA , but the government wanted to use its own human resources at a time when the country is facing huge electricity crisis,” said Ghimire.
The project lies within the Archam and Bajora districts and is located approximately 830 km west of the capital Kathmandu. The project consists of construction of a concrete dam which has a surface upper level at 720 m above sea level and length of about 54 m and a non-overflow height of 25 m, and a concrete stilling basin that is 19 m wide and 80 m long. Power waterways consist of a 5.56 Km nominally unlined tunnel 5.1 m in diameter, a 7.5 m finished surge tank and a 219 m long, 3.5 meter drop shaft. The hydroelectric plant is a surface powerhouse with 20 MW capacity (two 10 MW Francis-type power generating units). The project includes a 132 kV switchyard and a 132 kV transmission line (88.6 km in length). The project includes the construction of access roads that are approximately 15 kilometers in length.