Chameliya hydel project to come online a month ahead of schedule


    Apr 26, 2017-

    Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, the contractor for the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical works for the Chameliya Hydropower Project, has agreed to advance the completion deadline by one month.

    This means the 30 MW hydropower plant in the Far Western Region will come online a month earlier in November.

    According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the owner of the project, the Korean company is planning to do a dry test of the plant and machinery on May 15. During a dry test, electricity is passed through various equipment to check for malfunctions.

    “Before starting the dry test, the Korean contractor will finish installing most of the equipment and machinery,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, project chief of Chameliya. “It will take around one and a half months to complete the dry test. Considering the pace at which the Korean contractor has been working, it is highly likely that the project will be completed in November.”

    Meanwhile, the NEA has been holding talks with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the civil contractor for the project, to complete the civil works a month ahead of schedule in August. If the Chinese contractor agrees, the project will be completed in October.

    “The civil contractor has agreed to consider our request and it will revise its work schedule,” said Dahal.

    As the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical contractor has agreed to complete the installation and tests within two months after the civil contractor completes its job, the project will come online in October if the Chinese contractor agrees to the NEA’s proposal.

    Currently, CGGC is about to complete plugging one of the three audit tunnels that were dug when the 4-km main tunnel of the hydropower plant was built.

    It is also constructing a 47-metre-long rock-trap in the tunnel. A rock-trap is a pit built in the tunnel to capture sediment, pebbles and stones and prevent them from entering the turbines and damaging them.

    The Chinese civil contractor, which resumed work in October 2016 after a two-year break, has increased the speed of work and pledged to complete the task well before the deadline, according to the NEA.

    The construction of the project had been stalled since May 2014 after the government refused to make an additional payment of Rs1.09 billion which the contractor had claimed as cost variance due to a squeezing of the tunnel.

    The contractor agreed to resume work after being summoned to the Energy Ministry and told to do so immediately by Minister Janardan Sharma.

    The NEA also agreed to release a provisional payment of the disputed bill in order to maintain a regular cash flow for the project. After the dispute is settled, the contractor will return any excess amount and receive extra money in case it has been underpaid.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post