In last week’s floods, 30 hydroelectric projects totaling 463 MW suffered damages worth Rs. 8.5 billion

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KATHMANDU, June 24: A total of 30 hydropower projects in Eastern Nepal sustained damages worth Rs 8.5 billion due to floods that took place in the past few days.

According to the Independent Power Producers’ Association, Nepal (IPPAN), the floods of June 16 and June 17 in Taplejung, Panchthar, Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts damaged the 30 hydropower projects of 463 MW in total capacity. Of these, 13 operating projects with 132 MW faced a loss of around Rs 6 billion.

The 22.1 MW Lower Hewa Khola Hydropower Project sustained the biggest loss of Rs 1 billion. The 25 MW Kabeli B-1 faced a loss of Rs 500 million.

The 4.7 MW Upper Piluwa-2 Hydropower Project had damage to its physical structures including headwork, pipe alignment and power house. It is estimated that it will take over two years to repair the damaged structures of the Upper Piluwa-2 project. The damage costs an estimated Rs 900 million to the project.

Similarly, 17 under construction hydropower projects with capacity totaling 327 MW witnessed losses of over Rs 2 billion due to floods. The Super Hewa Khola Hydropower Project had the biggest loss of Rs 800 million. Out of 18 workers who were swept away by the flood at the project site, dead bodies of only four have been found so far.

The Super Hewa Khola Hydropower Project is said to have completed 90 percent of its construction work. Harka Bahadur Tamang, chairman of the project, said it might take up to two years for the maintenance of the project.

Similarly, the 97.5 MW Isuwakhola Hydropower Project sustained damages of Rs 500 million and 9.7 MW Ingwa Khola also had an equivalent amount of damage in its under construction infrastructure.