Two Sanjen projects pushed back by at least two years

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    Delay in construction of transmission lines

    KATHMANDU, Jan 13: Delay in construction of transmission lines between Chilime VDC of Rasuwa and Matatirtha of Kathmandu has pushed back generation date of two hydropower projects in Sanjen Khola by at least two years.

    Unofficial calculation shows Sanjen Jalvidhyut Company Limited (SJCL), the developer of Upper Sanjen Hydroelectric Project (14.8 MW) and Sanjen Hydroelectric Project (42.5 MW), will suffer revenue loss of Rs 4.95 billion due to delay in the projects. The calculation, however, excludes possible cost overrun due to inflation and other reasons.

    Commercial operation date of Upper Sanjen has been revised to July 2017, while Sanjen is now expected to start generation from January 2019. The projects were expected to complete in July 2014 and December 2015, respectively.

    Milap Bahadur Pandey, general manager of SJCL, said they chose to push projects’ works back to align with the new schedule of the transmission line project so that energy do not go to waste” “Also we would have pay interest on loans without generating any incom”,” he added.

    Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is the developer of 220 kV transmission line project which is divided into two segments — Matatirtha to Trishuli of 48 km and Trishuli to Chilime of 26.5 km. The project is said to be a key to evacuate energy generated by several upcoming projects like Trishuli 3A being developed by NEA.

    Chilime-Trishuli 3B Transmission Line is being built with assistance of US$ 35 million from the European Investment Bank and German-based Bank KfW. But the project is not making satisfactory progress. Kedar Raj Silwal, manager of the project, said they were at the final state of selecting consultant for the project. According to Silwal, it may take another year to prepare detailed project report (DPR) and awarded the tender. Plan is to complete the project within three years, he added” “The project got delayed after locals, dissatisfied with compensation for land acquired for the project, field a writ petition at the Supreme Cour”,” he said, adding other factors have also affected the project.

    Phanindra Joshi, manager of Matatirtha Trishuli Transmission Line Project, told Republica that they need revise their schedule. The project was earlier expected to be completed by June this year.

    The project is being developed with soft loan from China Exim Bank. ”

    “Land acquisition process has already been completed. Work to fell trees in community forests have already beg”n,” Joshi said, adding that equipment and components of transmission pylons are stuck at Raxaul due to border disruptions.

    Meanwhile, Giri Raj Adhikari, project chief of Sanjen, said delay in getting approval for forest clearance and arrangement of explosives, among others, also affected the project. He also said tunnel works and excavation for construction of power house is going on at present.

    SJCL is a subsidiary company of Chilime Hydropower Company. The company also has a contingency plan to bring Upper Sanjen Project into operation by July 2017 even if the new transmission line is not built. It plans to evacuate energy partially in wet months and fully during dry months to a substation connected to Chilime Hydropower.

    Source : Republica