Tanahu Hydropower Project Diverts Seti River for Dam Construction

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On November 6 2023  the Seti River has been diverted for the construction of the main dam of the Tanahu Hydropower Project with a total capacity of 140 megawatts.

In the area where Rishing Rural Municipality-1 and Vyas Municipality-5 meet, the Seti River has been diverted from a point 140 meters upstream of the main concrete dam construction site, which is 626.92 meters long. Through the diversion, the water has been channeled from the main dam construction site to the lower downstream area along the riverbed.

The Tanahu District Coordination Committee, with Chief Shantiram Wagle, Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, and Kulman Ghising, Chairman of the Tanahu Hydropower Ltd., along with Chief District Officer Chhabi Lal Rijal and Asian Development Bank’s Senior Director (Energy) Priyantha Bijayatunga, started the work of river diversion on Monday by flying a helicopter.

Now, for the construction of the main dam, a temporary concrete dam (cofferdam – Ayamabhach dam), located approximately 40 meters upstream, will be built. This dam has been constructed beforehand so that work can commence before the upcoming monsoon. Managing Director Ghising mentioned the importance of a well-prepared plan for river diversion, which includes a significant cofferdam and spillway.

In the past, there were some delays in selecting consultants and construction contractors. However, Ghising mentioned that now, they are working to improve the sample plan and are committed to completing the project on time while maintaining transparency.

The overall construction progress of the project is approximately 46%. The goal is to complete the entire construction by the month of July in 2026.

The District Coordination Committee Chief, Wagle, mentioned that the project has successfully crossed an important phase, and he emphasized the need for quick construction completion of the project. He highlighted that the project aims to address local issues collectively and expressed a commitment to overcome any obstacles in the construction process.

Vyas Municipality Chief, Baikuntha Neupane, mentioned that they are vigilant against individuals with hidden self-interests and emphasized the need to complete the project within a specified timeframe.

Bhimad Municipality Chief, Dadhiraj Suvedi, noted that he has been hearing constant complaints about the lack of progress in the country. He expressed a positive message as the project enters a new phase, emphasizing the need for constructive construction in the area.

Tanahu’s Chief District Officer, Rijal, mentioned that Tanahu Hydropower is a matter of national pride, based on its nature, cost, and the employment it generates. He emphasized the need to declare the project as a national pride event. He also highlighted the collaborative role of local authorities and administration in the current status of the project.

Priyantha Bijayatunga, Senior Director (Energy) at the Asian Development Bank, mentioned that after the successful completion of the Kaligandaki Hydropower Project, the bank has invested in the Tanahu Hydropower Project. He noted that the project has set an example by incorporating social and environmental protection activities, which can be applied as a model in projects like the Dudhkoshi Hydropower Project. He also expressed pride in the significant work in the energy sector in Nepal over the past year, including large projects like the Dudhkoshi Hydropower Project in which ADB has invested.

Kiran kumar Shrestha, the Managing Director of Tanahu Hydropower Ltd., mentioned that the Tanahu Hydropower Project, which is being constructed in Kulekhani, has been given full attention and focus to complete it within a specified timeframe. He highlighted the collaborative efforts and support from local authorities, administration, and the local community in the project construction.

The main construction work of the project has been divided into three packages. Under Package-1, the construction of a 140-meter temporary dam is being carried out through a contract agreement with Song Da Corporation, Vietnam-Kalika Construction Pvt. Ltd. The agreement for this work was executed starting from 30 August, 2021.

The builders are currently cutting the hill (slope) from the right and left sides of the Seti river for the construction of another diversion tunnel and the main dam. The progress of the work is about 54 percent. Overall progress of package-1 is 25 percent.

A purchase agreement was signed with Sino Hydro Corporation, China on October 15, 2075 for the construction of package-2, including the construction of the tunnel, power house and supply, installation and operation of hydromechanics and electromechanical equipment. After the construction supervision consultant issued an order to start the construction work under the purchase agreement, Sino Hydro has been operating at the project site since October 1, 2021 and is continuing the construction work.

Excavation of the underground power plant has been completed and equipment such as concreting and turbines are being installed. The tailrace tunnel construction has been completed and the main tunnel is being dug. The construction progress towards the civil side of this package is more than 70 percent while the overall progress is about 47 percent.

Under package-3, KEC of construction of 220 KV double circuit transmission line from Damauli to Bharatpur in Chitwan. The purchase agreement dated 25 December 2021 with International Limited, India was executed on 22 February 2022. 34.7 km. Out of the 94 towers on the transmission line, the foundations of 69 towers have been laid and 33 towers have been erected. The overall construction progress of this package is 69 percent.

Under the social development program of the project, the Nepal Electricity Authority’s Planning and Management Directorate has completed the strengthening of the Tanahu Rural Electrification and Distribution System in Tanahu district. As part of this, in the local context, two substations, with a capacity of 33/11 kV, have been constructed and are now operational in Ghiring Rural Municipality-4 and Bandipur Rural Municipality-6 for electrical supply. To provide electricity to these substations, 33 kV lines have been constructed. In order to ensure sufficient, reliable, and high-quality electrical supply to various parts of Tanahu district, various capacity distribution transformers have been installed and 11 kV lines have been constructed at different locations.

The total cost of the company’s capital structure and financial management plan, including expansion of the lines, rural electrification, and construction period interest, is $50.5 million. ADB has contributed $15 million, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has allocated $18.4 million, the European Investment Bank has provided $8.5 million, and the Nepal Government/Nepal Electricity Authority has allocated $8.6 million for financial management.