Chameliya Hydropower Project: Technical glitch puts off transmission test

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    Nov 5, 2017-The test generation of the Chameliya Hydropower Project which was scheduled to begin on Saturday has been put off for 10 to 12 days after a problem emerged in one of the radial gates located near the power plant’s intake.

    According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the owner of the 30 MW project, they were all set to start the test generation on Saturday but had to drop the plan after one of the two radial gates couldn’t be closed.

    The radial gate in a hydropower plant is a very important component as it is used to divert water from the river and into the intake tunnel through which it enters the turbines to produce electricity.

    “On Thursday, we couldn’t close one of the radial gates. Hence, we had to postpone the test,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, NEA appointed project chief of Chameliya.

    “We have asked China Gezhouba Group Corporation, the civil contractor, to repair the gate immediately. After gate is repaired, we will start filling the 4-km tunnel with water from the Chameliya River.”

    The test generation will likely happen this month, added Dahal. The delay in the test production is expected to push back commercial production slated to start in mid-December.

    “We had expected the project to come online by mid-December, but there are slim chances of that happening as the plant has to be tested for at least a month,” said Dahal. “However, we will try to switch on one of the units by December and meet the project’s revised completion deadline.”

    After the project starts commercial production, the electricity will be evacuated over the 132 kV Blanch-Attariya transmission line to Attariya, a business hub in far west Nepal, according to the NEA, the state-owned power utility.

    The construction of the Chameliya project started in January 2008.

    It was originally scheduled to be completed by June 2011, but the completion date was pushed back on multiple occasions due to disputes between the NEA and the  civil contractor.

    Work at the site came to a halt in May 2014 after the government refused to make an additional payment of Rs1.09 billion which the Chinese company had asked for due to cost variance resulting from 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 the then energy minister Janardan Sharma.

    The company, which returned to work in October 2016 after more than two years, then speeded up construction work and completed it within the September deadline.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post