Landslides affect construction works at Upper Tamakoshi

Kathmandu, September 12

Construction of 456MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has been affected since July as the access road to the construction site has been blocked by landslides.

“With landslides occurring in many places between Khadichaur of Sindhupalchowk and project site in Dolakha district, we are facing problems in transporting hydro-mechanical equipment,” said Ganesh Neupane, spokesperson for Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd (UTKHPL).

Neupane informed that it seems transporting the equipment will be possible only after the monsoon recedes.

Four international contractor companies are working on four different packages of the project. An Indian company named Texmaco Rail and Engineering is handling hydro-mechanical works of the project, while a Chinese company named Sino Hydro Corporation is handling the project’s civil works. Andritz Hydro of Austria is looking into electromechanical works, and KEC International of India is handling transmission line/substations works.

On April 11, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had instructed all the concerned authorities to complete the national pride projects within the given deadline. He had directed the projects officials to push companies that are falling behind schedule to accelerate the works so that the projects are completed on time.

According to Neupane, 97 per cent of works have been completed so far and the project will be completed as per the given deadline of mid-April, 2019.

UTKHPL, a subsidiary company of Nepal Electricity Authority, is developing peaking run-of-the-river hydro project. The project will generate 2.28 billion units of electricity a year.

While the project cost has already reached Rs 41 billion against initial estimate of Rs 35 billion, the cost is expected to surge to Rs 49 billion by the time of completion, as per Neupane.

The project was initially scheduled to be completed in July 2016, but was delayed due to a number of factors — a tunnel had to be shifted due to geological reasons, damages due to devastating earthquakes of 2015, supply crisis, and various technical and social issues.

The project is being financed by NEA, which has 41 per cent stake. Other shareholders include Nepal Telecom (six percent), Citizen Investment Trust (two percent), Rastriya Beema Sansthan (two percent), public (15 percent), locals of Dolakha (10 per cent), depositors of Employees Provident Fund and employees of NT, RBS, CIT and EPF (24 per cent).

Source: The Himalayan Times