Chameliya hydropower project – Contractor seeks revision of working schedule

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    KATHMANDU, AUG 03 –

    ChameliyaKHNP Consortium — a Korean joint venture assigned to carry out electromechanical and hydro mechanical work on the 30MW Chameliya hydropower project — on Friday asked the government to revise its working schedule, saying it has not not yet started any work due to non-completion of civil work.

    The contractor made such a proposal during a meeting with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) on Friday. In response, the NEA has decided to prepare a joint working schedule for electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical work.

    NEA board member Bibek Tated said as the Korean firm could not start its work in time due to the delay made by the civil contractor, the consortium proposed to revise the working schedule in which there has been general consensus from the NEA too.

    “Holding talks with all stakeholders, including the NEA, the Korean consortium, the funding agencies for the project and civil contractor of the project, we will soon devise a practical working schedule for the Korean firm,” said Tated, who also leads the dispute settlement committee at NEA.

    Although the South Korean contractor had also demanded compensation of $8 million a few days ago, NEA officials, however, said the contractor didn’t make any demand for compensation on Friday’s meeting. After China Gezhouba Water and Power — assigned to carry out civil work — failed to complete its job timely, the Korean firm failed to start its work which succeeds civil work.

    So the Korean contractor, which was supposed to complete its job in 2011, had got automatic contract extension from the government until the end of 2013.

    The joint-venture comprising Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co, Hwachon Plant Construction Co; Sean Engineering and Construction Co and Nepal Hydro & Electric Ltd warned a few days ago of pulling out from the project as it has not been able to do its work despite mobilising construction equipment at the project site for a long.

    The company was awarded a $48-million contract in April, 2008.

    During Friday’s meeting, the Korean consortium also requested the NEA to release 10 percent of the total retention amount stating it has been facing cash flow problems. The company had previously for 5 percent of the retention amount some five months ago which the NEA promised to fulfil.

    “The decision to provide 5 percent retention amount to the contractor has also been approved by the NEA Board,” said Proejct Chief Rajendra Manandhar. “Though the contractor had promised to keep security guarantee at bank that equals to the retention amount, the issue has not been decided.”

    He said the contractor also asked the NEA to provide warranty for some of the equipment that do not have warranty offers from manufacturers and whose warranty period has been over. “We are not liable to fulfil the contractor’s demand,” he said, adding the NEA has asked the contractor to provide a detailed list of the machines that need warranty. The Korean company, which has also been awarded the contract for transmission line for the project, has almost completed the work, according to the NEA.

    The Darchula-based project, originally scheduled to be completed in May, 2011, has been delayed due to the contractor’s poor performance. The project deadline, postponed till August 2013 once, was pushed back to March 2015. The NEA officials said despite several revisions in the completion date, the Chinese contractor’s progress has been “unsatisfactory”.

    SOURCE :The Kathmandu Post