SANKHUWASABHA, SEP 25 – Sankhuwasabha has the potential to produce 2,200 MW of electricity from the rivers and streams that charge through the district, said the Department of Electricity Development (DoED).
The Arun River along with the Sabha Khola, Piluwa and Hewa have been identified as having high hydropower prospects. Many projects on these rivers and streams are at the survey or construction stages.
Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, deputy director general of the DoED, said that Arun III had the potential to produce 900 MW while Upper Arun (V and VI) have a combined potential of producing 335 MW. Likewise, Lower Arun (I and II) can generate 400 MW and Arun IV can produce 200 MW.
A feasibility study carried out by the department shows that the Ikhuwa Khola has the potential to produce 18 MW of electricity, Sankhuwa Khola 25 MW and Apsuwa Khola 22 MW.
As per an estimate, it costs Rs 150-200 million to produce 1 MW of hydroelectricity. Two projects in Sankhuwasabha district, Diveshwori Hydro (3.3 MW) and Maya Khola (14.9 MW) on the on the Sabha Khola are currently under construction, said the DoED.
Ghimire said that the signing of a project development agreement between Investment Board Nepal and Satlaj Power Nigam, the Indian company that has been awarded the contract to build Arun III, was being awaited.
Among the hydro projects, Arun V is the cheapest in terms of construction costs. “If we are able to cash in on the potential of Arun V to the fullest extent, the hydropower produced from the project can be made available for Rs 5 per unit by 2020.
Despite the district’s large hydropower prospects, only 9.5 MW has been harvested. Barun Hydro produces 4.5 MW, Arun Valley 3 MW, Lower Piluwa 1 MW and the Nigure Hydropower Project 250 kW of electricity.
Source : The Kathmandu Post