Panel advises 630MW capacity

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    KATHMANDU, MAR 29 –

    BudhigandakiThe Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project Development Committee has recommended the capacity of the reservoir-type project be 630MW. It also decided a powerhouse will be constructed alongside its dam.

    Committee Chairman Laxmi Prasad Devkota said a final decision on the project’s capacity will be taken by the Energy Ministry and the Nepal Electricity Authority ( NEA ).

    “We have written to the Energy Ministry and the NEA to take a final call on the capacity,” he said. “Since we found a dam-site powerhouse more feasible than short- or long-tunnel types, we decided to move ahead with this model.” The project’s consultant, Tractebel Engineering, had earlier proposed three design options for the Dhading-based project.

    In its report submitted to the committee on March 1, Tractebel had suggested dam-site powerhouse, short- and long-tunnel.

    The report has said the powerhouse has to be around 2km downstream from the dam-site and above a place where the Budhi Gandaki joins the Trishuli. Under this option, a regulating dam will be constructed to control water flow during peak hours.

    As per the report, if the project is constructed under the first option, it will take at least 77 months to be completed. The two dams will be linked by a tunnel where one more sub-project can be constructed. However, a study on the cost of the sub-project and its capacity has not been conducted.

    One of the main reasons behind selecting the dam-site design, according to Devkota, is energy cost. He said if 630MW electricity is generated under the dam-site design, the cost per unit would be Rs 6.08, while it would cost Rs 6.33 and Rs 6.30 if adopted short- and long-tunnel designs, respectively.

    Apart from the energy cost, several other factors, including topography, geo-technical, construction, hydraulic, and environmental aspects were also considered while selecting the design.

    The project cost, under the dam-site design, has been estimated at Rs 209 billion. The project can be upgraded up to 945 MW.

    “If the government opts for increasing the capacity to 945 MW, the cost will increase by Rs 14 billion,” said Devkota.

    He said the project can be operated at full capacity for 9-12 hours a day if developed at 630MW capacity, and for 6-8 hours a day if built at 945 MW, according to a concept designed by the consultant.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post