Model for powerhouse of Budi Gandaki decided

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    KATHMANDU, March 23

    BudhigandakiDecision has been taken about the model for powerhouse of Budi Gandaki Project. The Budi Gandaki Hydropower Project Development Committee has approved the design of constructing powerhouse either inside the dam that does not require digging of a tunnel or outside the dam.

    The committee has written to the consultant Tractebel Engineering of France to prepare detailed project report (DPR) accordingly. The committee has prepared a schedule of starting generation from March, 2021. Tractebel, submitting the concept design report three weeks ago, had provided three alternatives for powerhouse and urged it to select any one of them. “We have advised to prepare DPR as per the first option out of three alternatives proposed by Tractebel. It will prepare DPR incorporating the project design on the same basis, and environmental and social impact,” executive chairman of the committee Laxmi Prasad Devkota said.

    He stated that the first alternative looked appropriate from the perspective of time and energy. He revealed that the decision was taken following comprehensive discussions with expert groups. The second alternative was constructing an under-ground power house in Ghyalchowk by digging a 1.50-kilomtere from a little above the dam while the third alternative was constructing the dam at Dabung by building a 10-kilometer tunnel and constructing the power house in between by taking water to Fishling through the tunnel. The committee has sought suggestions from the Energy Ministry and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to determine installed capacity of the reservoir based project on the basis of the country’s electricity demand after 2020. He stated that the decision about whether to develop it as a 630 MW project or 945 MW project will be taken after receiving suggestions from the ministry. Study has showed that the project will generate 2.50 billion units of electricity a year with either capacity.

    He said cost will be determined after determination of installed capacity. “It will cost Rs 200 billion if designed for 630 MW and Rs 225 billion for 945 MW,” he revealed.  The project can be operated at full capacity for 9-12 hours a day if designed for 630 MW and 6-8 hours if designed for 945 MW, according to the concept design provided by the consultant. The concept design report submitted by Tractebel has stated that the project is financially and technically viable, and its generation cost will be Rs 6.33 per unit. This rate is cheap as it is a reservoir based project. Generation of electricity will be cheaper if the US dollar were to weaken a bit.

    Construction will be completed in five years after finishing feasibility study, resettlement and rehabilitation, financial management and awarding contract in two years. The committee plans to bring foreign investment for the project and also manage investment through the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), different banks and financial institutions and commoners. The country is expected to be free of load-shedding once this project of national pride is completed. The consultant has been handed responsibility of completing DPR and preparing bid documents to take the project to the stage of construction.

    The committee stated that the dam will be around 225 meters high. The project will be among 36 projects with big and high dams in the world and will affect 23 village development committees (VDC) of Gorkha and Dhading districts. A lake will be created up to 50 kilometers upstream.

    Source : Baburam Khadka .Karobar Daily