upper_tamakoshi_PHUpper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project will be pushed 15 months behind the schedule. There has only been 72 percent physical progress in the 456 MW-project whose civil construction was started in August, 2014 with an aim of operating a unit from April, 2015.

    The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited (UTKHPL) has set a new deadline for starting generation from the first unit as work will not be completed in scheduled time. The project cost will rise due to the delay by 15 months. The UTKHPL will also lose income of over Rs 9 billion a year from sale of electricity. Project Chief Bigyan Prasad Shrestha says the first unit will start generation from July, 2016 if there is no big obstruction including natural reasons. All units will be completed by the end of 2016. There will be six units in the project.

    Shrestha claims recurring strikes, and problems in import of equipment and supply of diesel alone delayed the project by nine months. Delay of another three months was caused as the tunnel had to be shifted due to geological reasons. The UTKHPL is preparing to calculate new project cost after the delay. The original estimated project cost is Rs 35.29 billion (US$ 441 million) excluding interest for the period of construction. The cost was calculated when exchange rate of US dollar was Rs 80 per unit. Shrestha says the project cost may have increased up to US$ 460 million now due to different factors to go with the delay. The project will generate 2.28 billion units of electricity a year.

    The project is being constructed in four lots. Sino Hydro of China is doing civil construction, Texmaco India Limited hydromechanical, Andritz Hydro of Austria electromechanical and KEC International of India transmission line/substations. A 220 KV transmission line from the power house at Gongar to Khimti is being constructed to wheel the electricity generated by the project, according to Shrestha.

    Detailed engineering of Rolwaling starts

    Detailed engineering of Rolwaling Diversion Project to channel Rolwaling water into Tamakoshi during the dry season has been started. Lahmeyer International of Germany has already been appointed consultant. The company was also the consultant for Upper Tamakoshi and had prepared detailed engineering for the project. Shrestha claims Rolwaling Project will be completed by September, 2017. He says arrangement for investment required for the project is being made. “A few banks have already made investment proposal. There is no problem for investing in the project,” he claims. Preliminary study has put estimated cost of the project at around Rs 2 billion (US$ 26 million).

    Rolwaling water will be channeled into Tamakoshi through a six-kilometer tunnel during the winter to generate additional 176 million units. Upper Tamakoshi will generate 2.45 billion units a year including this. The installed capacity of the project, however, will remain 456 MW even after bringing Rolwaling water into Tamakoshi as additional electricity will only be generated during the dry season.

    The UTKHPL plans to complete the diversion project two years after Upper Tamakoshi is completed. Upper Tamakoshi will operate at full capacity for the three months in monsoon season but its capacity will fall to 90 MW during February and March. The project will generate up to 120 MW during the dry season after bringing Rolwaling water.

    Source : Karobar Daily