Monitoring of Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV transmission project by Germany and European Union team, commitment to increase more subsidies in the energy sector

411

Mar. 25: A team from Germany and the European Union has inspected the under-construction Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV transmission line project.

The team, including representatives from the European Union and German Development Bank under the leadership of Gisela Hammerschmidt, Director for Asia at German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, monitored the construction progress of transmission lines and substations under the project on Saturday.

Under the project, the construction of 220/132/33 kV Chilime Hub and Trishuli 3B Hub substations at Thimbuchet in Aamachhodingmo Rural Municipality of Rasuwa and Pahirebensi of Kispang Rural Municipality of Nuwakot are in the final stage, according to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Also, construction of a 28 km long 220 kV transmission line from Chilime Hub to Trisuli 3B Hub substation is in the final stage.

The Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV transmission line and Chilime and Trishuli 3B hub substations have been constructed to supply the electricity of the hydroelectric projects under construction and to be built in the Trishuli river and its tributaries to the national grid.

The estimated cost of the project is USD 39 million, and there is investment from the government of Nepal and the Nepal Electricity Authority and a grant from the German Development Bank (KFW). There is a concessional loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) established by the European Union in the project.

After monitoring the construction of Trishuli 3B hub substation and transmission line, the team discussed with the NEA and the project management the project progress, problems, construction completion date, possibility of further investment in the energy sector as well, said the NEA. Team leader Gisela Hammerschmidt said that it was a great pleasure for the project to reach the stage of completion in the risky and difficult mountainous area.

Expressing her commitment to provide more subsidies for the development of Nepal’s energy sector, she urged the NEA to identify areas that require investment and propose them.

Managing Director of NEA Kul Man Ghising informed the team that the final phase of the work was being done so that the substation and the transmission line would be completed and brought into operation within April 2024.

The project has been delayed due to the fact that the tower has to be built in a geographically risky and difficult mountainous area and due to the lack of road access, it is difficult to supply stones, sand and materials for the tower. The COVID-19 pandemic also affected the project for the timely completion.

The transmission line has been constructed in an area ranging from 680 to 2600 m above sea level. Around 33 towers had to be built in places where there was no access road. A separate access road has been constructed to reach the place.

“In the past, investors have repeatedly expressed their interest and concern about the delay in construction, but during the inspection visit, the team has expressed their happiness and praised the fact that the work has gained momentum and achieved significant progress,” said Ghising.

“Donor agencies are also very interested and concerned about the deadline for the construction of the project. The 110 megawatt Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Project to be connected to this line is in final preparation. If we cannot build the line, we will have to waste electricity,” Ghising said.

“No one can escape by making this or that excuse, let’s all be responsible and make the last effort, we will provide the necessary support and facilitation from our side.” The foundations of 65 of the 75 towers in the total 28 km transmission line have been laid. The foundation of the remaining 10 towers is being laid.

Around 59 towers have been erected and work is being done on three towers. The wire has been extended in 11 km and wire pulling work is going on over the erected towers.

Under the leadership of Korean companies, a multi-circuit line is being built to connect the electricity of the 216 MW Upper Trishuli-1 hydroelectric project. Upper Trishuli-1 will bear around 60 per cent of the cost of constructing the multi-circuit line. A contract was signed with the Chinese company Pinggao Group of Companies in October 2017 for the construction of transmission lines and substations.