Kulekhani Hydropower Project suffers cost and time overruns

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    Kulekhani-powerhouseHETAUDA, MAR 26 – The Kulekhani Hydropower Project has encountered cost and time overruns with the completion of the scheme still nowhere in sight. The developers have already spent double the amount of money originally estimated.

    The 14 MW project was scheduled to be finished by the end of the current fiscal year according to the extended deadline, but the target cannot be achieved, a senior technician of the project said. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) had recently lengthened the time limit by nine months to mid-July.

    NEA officials blamed the slow progress on the electro-mechanical contractor. The project has been delayed due to the damage caused to the generator in the powerhouse. The rotor in the generator has not been repaired, and the  project has told the contractor to replace it.

    The contractor for the electro-mechanical job should have finished installing the turbine, rotor, transformer, AVR and generator six months ago, but damage to the rotor had created complications, according to the project.

    The construction work star-ted in 2008 and it was planned to be completed by 2011. As of the present, 90 percent of the civil works and 60 percent of the electro-mechanical works have been completed, according to the project. However, work on the transmission line has not begun yet.

    When the construction work could not be completed by 2012, the project’s deadline had been extended by 30 months. When that deadline too passed without the project nowhere near completion, the target was pushed back once again till the end of the current fiscal year.

    The initial estimated cost of the project was Rs2.43 billion but its cost has ballooned to Rs4.22 billion.

    Power output falls as rivers shrink

    LAMJUNG: Electricity generation has fallen at all the hydropower projects operating in Lamjung due to technical problems and reduced flow of water in the rivers as is usual during the winter season. The Middle Marsyangdi, Siuri Khola, Randhi Khola, Khudi and Syange micro-hydropower projects have all experienced a drop in output. The hydropower projects in the district are now contributing only 32.3 MW to the national grid against the usual 83.5 MW. Project Chief Rajesh Kumar Pandey of the Middle Marsyangdi Project said that the plant was presently producing 27 MW although its installed capacity is 70 MW.  “Electricity generation has been low due to less water flow,” he said. “We have increased the power generation to some extent by collecting water in the night time.” He added that production had also been affected due to maintenance on the turbine. Similarly, the Siuri Khola Hydropower Project is producing 1.5 MW compared to its installed capacity of 5 MW. The Randhi Khola Project at Ghermu is also producing just 1.8 MW although its installed capacity is 4.4 MW. Electricity production decreases in the winter season at run-of-the-river hydropower projects when the volume of water in the rivers decreases.

    Source : eKantipur