Mountain Energy has started generating electricity from Mistrikhola, adding 42 MW to the national grid

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Myagdi, May 14 : Electricity generated from the Mistrikhola Hydropower Project project constructed in Myagdi’s Annapurna rural municipality-4, Narchyang has been added to the national grid since Thursday.

The 42-MW Mistrikhola hydro project constructed by the Mountain Energy Nepal Limited had transmitted its electricity to the national grid through Dana substation.

“The electricity generated from Mistrikhola has been synchronized and connected to the national grid operating all the units of the project for testing. A technical team of Nepal Electricity Authority has come to Narchang to test the production and substation.

A few days ago, a test of a 4 km transmission line of 132 KV capacity connecting Beshigaun of Narchang to a 220 KV substation at Dana was successful.

The trial production phase will be two weeks. Project Chief Deepak Kumar Shah said that commercial production will start from the project after providing free electricity to NEA for 15 days.

Earlier, the project was scheduled to start generating electricity from March 30, 2077 BS, but it was postponed for about a month and a half after the project team working at the project site became infected with corona.

The project, which has been under construction since June 12, 2073 BS has an installed capacity of 42 MW (3×14 MW) with design discharge of 17.1 m3/s and net head of 285 m. The project site is about 100 km northwest of Pokhara. The headworks site is located approximately 70 m downstream of the confluence of Nilgiri and Ghalemdi Rivers, and about 8 km north of Tatopani Bazaar. The powerhouse site is located very close to Tatopani Bazar at the lower end of Narchyang village on the left bank of Kaligandaki River after its confluence with Mistri Khola. The headrace tunnel is 2289 m long shotcrete lined (partially concrete lined) with finished diameter of 4 m, and inverted D in shape. A concrete lined surge shaft is located about 40 m upstream of the outlet portal. The steel penstock is 1415 m long 2.15 m/ 2.05 m dia upto bifurcation. The pipe then splits into three branch pipes of 1.2 m dia with a combined length of 240 m to feed three turbines in the powerhouse.

A switchyard has been constructed near the power house on the left bank of Kaligandaki river in Beshigaun. In the dam area, two underground sand dunes (canals) of 115 meters length, 8.5 meters width and 13 meters depth have been constructed.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 5.64 billion. The cost per megawatt is 134.3 million. It is also the largest hydropower project ever completed by the private sector with domestic investment.

Apart from the promoters, Nepal Investment Bank has invested Rs 700 million, Hydropower Development Company Rs 1 billion and Nepal Bank Rs 500 million. Similarly, Nabil Bank has invested Rs 1 billion, Laxmi Bank Rs 400 million, Siddhartha Bank Rs 300 million and the then Ace Development Bank Rs 300 million.

Large business houses including IME Group, Lomas Group, Bhatbhateni Group, Kia Motors and City Money Express have invested in the project. The construction of the project has started from 31st June, 2073 BS.

A total of 73,512 shares have been distributed to the residents of Narchang, the construction site of the project, and one million shares to the residents of seven other wards of Annapurna village municipality in the affected areas. Ordinary shares have also been distributed.

The Department of Electricity  Development had issued the production license in 2064 BS. Construction of the project was started after nine years due to delay in construction of 220 KV Kaligandaki Corridor Transmission Line and Dana Sub Station by Nepal Electricity Authority.

A 39-kilometer 220 KV transmission line connecting Annapurna-3 Dana to Khurkot was completed last January. Mountain Energy has already completed the construction of 5 MW Tadi Khola in Nuwakot and brought it into operation. The company is also constructing the Mystery River-2 Cascade Project using the water generated from the Mistri River.