Oct 4, 2017-The 14 MW Kulekhani III hydropower project has revised its electricity generation target to the third week of January 2018. Project officials said that the production target is based on the ongoing pace of construction works.
Although the project had targeted mid-August to begin power production, it was deferred due to slow progress by the Chinese contractor, Jheijian Jialin Company. The project’s completion deadline has been extended five times since construction began in April 2008. It was originally scheduled to be finished by 2012.
Sino Hydro, the civil contractor for the project, has asked Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to extend another six months for completing the construction.
Subhash Kumar Mishra, chief of the project, said that the NEA board had yet to decide on extending the deadline. He said that the board can extend the civil works deadline but cannot extend the deadline for electromechanical works. The electromechanical works has been entrusted to Jheijian Jialin Company.
The contractor has already imported the equipments necessary for construction of powerhouse at the project site.
Currently, the Chinese company has been constructing switchyard at the powerhouse.
Likewise, installation of generator and turbine is also being done at a fast rate.
Of the three towers needed for the transmission lines, two are nearly finished. Similarly, Sino Hydro has almost completed construction of track and other related infrastructure to access the powerhouse.
Mishra said almost 80 percent of the electromechanical work have been completed. Likewise, 98 percent of the civil works construction have also been completed. According to Mishra, the delay in civil construction has been triggered by slow progress in the electromechanical segment.
Kulekhani III is a hydropower project that is being constructed with domestic investment.
The project has encountered cost overruns due to delays, and the developer has spent double the amount of money originally estimated.
The initial estimated cost of the project was Rs2.43 billion, but the cost has ballooned to Rs5 billion. In May 2014, the National Planning Commission declared Kulekhani III a troubled project.
Initially, the project had estimated that production of per megawatt power would cost Rs173.6 million. However, as per the revised estimate, it is now expected to cost Rs310 million per megawatt.
Source: The Kathmandu Post