Chameliya project faces further delay



    ChameliyaThe Chameliya Hydro-power Project is set to be delayed further at a time the country is facing a longer load shedding hours.

    Originally scheduled to be completed in 2011, the 30MW project was rescheduled by keeping the completion date of August 2013 six months ago.

    Now, the Darchula-based project admitted that it would not be completed even at the rescheduled deadline.

    Project chief Rajendra Manandhar said that the project would be further delayed due to two reasons—ongoing construction works on tunnel requires treatment due to squeezing of tunnel at 840m part and penstock would be constructed with steel instead of roller-compacted concrete.

    He said that the month-long banda called in May 2012 before the dissolution of Constituent Assembly also hampered the project works. Manandhar, however, said that they are yet to reschedule the new deadline.

    A field study of the Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (EDCF), the aid agency of South Korea that is providing loans for the project’s electromechanical job, estimated that the project would be delayed. The team had conducted a field study from March 5-13. The EDCF, the government and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) are jointly investing in the project.

    The Korean team in its assessment said that the delay in civil works has affected electro mechanical works too. Chinese contractor China Gezhouba Water and Power (Group) Company Limited has been working on the civil front that includes the works like civil works, tasks such as intake, penstock tunnel and powerhouse construction are incorporated.

    The Korea joint venture—KHNP Consortium comprising Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co, Hwachon Plant Construction Co; Sean Engineering and Construction Co—and Nepal Hydro & Electric Ltd are handling the electromechanical job.

    The Korean assessment found out that civil works preceeding the electro-mechanical works has been delayed due to civil works contractor according ‘low priority, less profitability’.

    The team concluded that 84.3 percent of the civil works have so far been completed while progress in electro mechanical works has been at 80 percent.

    The EDCF has also demanded a feasible action plan for the project completion after assessing the project’s progress.

    Likewise, the project said that it would require additional budget to complete the project. “We are also assessing the amount needed for the completion of the project,” said Manandhar. The Export-Import Bank of Korea that operates the EDCF has pledged an additional loan, according to the Finance Ministry.

    “Once the Nepal Electricity Authority asks us to arrange additional resources through the Energy Ministry, we will negotiate with Exim Bank of Korea,” said Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post