Kathmandu, 25 October, 2021. The government has given survey license to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for the 490.2 MW Arun-4 semi-reservoir hydropower project identified on the Arun River.
The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation has decided to give the license of the project in Bhotkhola and Makalu villages of Sankhuwasabha to the authority. The Department of Power Development has already done a detailed design and study of the project. NEA had applied to the Department of Electricity for the license of the project on August 13.
NEA has received the license of the project on Monday. The construction of the 1061 MW Upper Arun Hydropower Project, which is being constructed by the Arun-4 Authority, is located in the lower part of the power house. NEA will move ahead with two projects of 1,551 MW on Arun River as soon as it gets the license of Arun-4.
NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising said that the construction of 1,551 MW projects including Upper Arun and Arun-4 would be carried out in parallel under the ‘People’s Hydropower Program’.
“It is a matter of great pleasure for the NEA to get the Arun-4 license. We will give high priority to the Upper Arun and Arun-4 projects and complete the construction and investment modalities within a year and a half,” Ghising said. “In order to make the benefits of the project available to the general public, arrangements will be made for the general public to invest in the project by purchasing shares.”
The department had identified Arun-4 as a project based on river flow. However, as the Upper Arun is designed in a semi-reservoir model, the Arun-4 is also being made semi-reservoir by making good use of the water flow obtained from it.
The dam site of Arun-4 is located at Bhotkhola Gaonpalika-4 and 5, about 130 meters south of Arun River and Lekseva Dobhan and north of Kapase and Golabasti. The water of the Arun River will be diverted through the dam and taken to the underground sand threshing pond (Desender) through a 2.55 km long tunnel. Water will be generated from Disender through an underground power house at Sajuwabesi in Makalu Gaonpalika-3 through a 6.8 km tunnel.
By generating electricity from the power house, water will be discharged into the Arun River again through 473.4 km tailrace tunnel. The project falls in the intermediate zone of Makalu Barun National Park.
The power house and dam area of the project are about 62 and 77 kilometers away from Khandbari, the district headquarters of Sankhuwasabha. The road section from Khandbari to the project area under Koshi Highway is currently being upgraded. The dam area is on the Koshi Highway. The village municipality is upgrading about 2 kilometers of rural road to reach the power house area.
According to a study by the department, the estimated cost of the project is 550 million US dollars (about 65 billion rupees). The project will generate 2.9 billion units of energy annually.