Jan 5, 2018-The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is all set to appoint a new contractor to complete the 220 kV Dhalkebar substation which remains unfinished since the original Chinese contractor was fired
The state-owned power utility on Wednesday selected an Indian company, Telmos Electronic, to complete the remaining 5 percent of the work on the substation.
On Thursday, it published a seven-day notice of intent to award the Rs128-million contract to the Indian company.
“If no one files a complaint or claim against the appointment, the NEA will issue a letter of intent to the Indian company. A contract will then be signed with Telmos Electronic for the execution of the remaining work on the substation,” said Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for the NEA. “The Indian contractor has to complete the job within 120 days from the date of the signing of the contract.”
Although the recent development has ensured the resumption of the construction of one of the most troubled projects in the country, the power utility’s plan to complete the substation and import extra energy from India during the upcoming dry season will not happen.
The 220 kV substation would have allowed the NEA to boost electricity imports from India over the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line, and prevent possible power cuts during the dry season. However, the substation will not be completed in time, and the NEA will not be able to import more than the 160 MW it is currently getting .
The power utility, however, has said that there will be no power cuts during this dry season despite the delay in the construction of the Dhalkebar substation.
The NEA said it would manage electricity demand in the country by increasing power imports from India via other cross-border transmission lines.
Last September, the NEA fired Central Power Grid International Economic and Trade Corporation, the Chinese contractor originally hired to build the Dhalkebar substation, after being fed up with its deliberate delays. The company has completed 95 percent of the construction work on the substation.
As per the deal signed between the NEA and the Chinese company in June 2014, the substation should have been up and running by September 2015.
However, deliberate delays by the contractor led to the deadline being extended for the third time to May 31, 2017, but that deadline too passed after it halted construction without notification.
The Chinese contractor was awarded the contract worth an estimated $14.5 million and Rs650 million.
According to the NEA, around 80 percent of the money had been paid to the company before the contract was scrapped.
Source: The Kathmandu Post