Rehabilitation and modernization of Gandak hydropower plant

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Kathmandu, 9 Nov,2022. Nepal Electricity Authority  is going to rehabilitate and modernize the 15 MW Gandak hydroelectric power plant located in Pratappur Rural Municipality-7 Suryapura of Napalparasi (Bardghat Susta West).

After the electromechanical equipment such as turbine, breaker, governor of the power plant became old and dilapidated and became unusable, the authority started to rehabilitate and modernize the center by installing new equipment in place of the old technology equipment. Most of the buildings and structures in the power station premises have also become dilapidated.
Electricity production started in April 1979 from the hydroelectric power station built in accordance with the Gandak Irrigation and Hydropower Project Agreement between the Government of Nepal and India. According to the Gandak Agreement, the hydropower plant was handed over to Nepal on 31 August 1981 by the Government of India. NEA Engineering Company Ltd. has prepared a detailed design and cost estimate for the restoration and modernization of Gandak hydroelectric power plant and submitted it to the authority. It is estimated that about 42 million rupees will be required for the rehabilitation and modernization of the hydroelectric power plant.


There are three units of 5 ÷ 5 MW in the power plant. Two of them are in working condition, while one unit is damaged and has not been working for a long time. The current equipment of the unit is old and needs to be replaced.
According to the Gandak Agreement between the two countries, the entire right to operate the Gandak Dam is vested in India, so the power plant operates on the basis that India releases water into the canal. As a result, it is challenging to operate the power plant easily and continuously throughout the year.
A team led by the Managing  Director of the Authority, Kulman Ghisingh, visited the site and took information about the condition of the hydropower plant. Managing Director Ghising said that the equipment of the power station, which was built 41-42 years ago, has become old and unusable, and since the station itself has become dilapidated, tenders for rehabilitation and modernization will soon be launched. For maintenance and inspection, the Indian side closes the canal for almost four months every year in October-November and March-April. After the canal is closed, the power plant cannot be operated due to lack of water. ‘, he said. “Because the equipment is old, even when water is available, the power plant is not running at full capacity, so it is going to be renovated and modernized.”
A dam has been built on Narayani river in Balmiki town of Bihar state on Nepal-India border. From this dam, the water of Narayani river has been taken to India for irrigation by constructing two canals, the Gandak main east and west.
Water is available for the operation of the power plant from the Gandak Main West Canal constructed for irrigation in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. There is a power house in the lower coastal area about 18 km from the dam. The water resources department of the state of Bihar is operating and maintaining the Gandak dam, so the dam is operated under its regulation. As the department opens the gates of the dam and diverts water according to the needs of the state, electricity is being generated from the Gandak hydropower station accordingly. Sunil Kumar Chaturvedi, Head of Gandak Hydropower Center, said that since there is no need of water for irrigation in the winter season, the canal is closed every year in the name of maintenance and inspection. “It is said that the canal will be repaired every year, but from what we can see, no repair work has been done, when the canal is closed for about 4 months every year, electricity cannot be produced,” said Chaturvedi. “There is no need to repair the canal every year, it has been discussed with the officials of the department several times but no conclusion has been reached.” The generated electricity can be transmitted from the 132 KV Gandak substation in the premises of the Gandak power station to the Bardghat substation and Ramnagar in India through the 132 KV transmission line. The authority has been importing about 40 megawatts of electricity from Vela Ramnagar substation through Gandak when necessary. The authority is providing electricity to Parasi area by constructing a 27 km 23 KV double circuit transmission line from 132-33 KV substation in Gandak to Parasi. Solar power on vacant land in Gandak The Nepal Electricity Authority is going to construct a solar power project with an installed capacity of about 6 megawatts on the vacant land owned by the Gandak Hydropower Center at Pratappur Rural Municipality-7 Suryapura, Napalparasi (Bardghat Susta West). Out of the 34 bigha land owned by the Centre, a hundred power projects will be constructed on 9.7 bigha land. Along with Gandak, a solar power project of about 9 megawatts will be constructed on the land owned by Madhyamsryangdi located in Lamjung and Juprakhola Small Hydropower Center located in Surkhet. The estimated cost of the project is 1.5 million euros. For the construction of the project, the German government will receive a grant of 6 million euros through the KFW Development Bank. The insufficient amount will be borne by the Government of Nepal and the authorities. Madhyamsryangdi and Juprakhola hydropower plants will be equipped with about 1 and 2 megawatts of solar power respectively. The electricity produced in the afternoon through the solar panel will be directly connected to the national transmission line, while the battery will not be kept. The goal is to complete the entire contract process and start construction of the project within one year