Upper Bhotekoshi reconstruction work at 45 percent

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Mar 2, 2019

Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower project has completed 45 percent of reconstruction work.

The 45MW project located in Bhotekoshi rural municipality, Sindhupalchowk had suspended electricity generation after the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015 damaged the plant. As it started repair work, the outburst flood in Bhote Koshi River on July 5, 2016 caused more damage to the plant. Since then, the project which started producing electricity from 2001 has been lying dormant.

Reconstruction work which began on April 2018 is going on smoothly and the project is on track to complete the job within the next 22 months, according to Bikram Ratna Sthapit, CEO of Bhotekhoshi Hydropower Project. Installation of the penstock pipe is going on swiftly with work at the dam side half complete, Sthapit added.

 Bhotekoshi Hydropower Company hired Sinohydro of China to carry out the reconstruction work. While the Chinese company will be responsible for civil, electronic and hydro mechanical works, installation of the turbine and generator will be handled by another company, according to Sthapit.

The total investment for the project is estimated to be Rs7 billion, he said.  

Upper Bhotekoshi Hydroelectricity Project has been facing numerous hurdles since 2014. In August of that year, flood and landslide in Sindhupalchowk district completely damaged four transmission lines of the company, preventing it from evacuating electricity. As the project started installing new transmission lines, locals created obstacles, demanding as much as 35 percent stake in the company.

Although demands for a stake in a project that had launched its operation more than a decade ago were criticised by many, locals, who had received support from major political parties, did not back off. Locals allowed the project to start reconstruction work of transmission lines only after the company agreed to transfer ownership of 6 percent stake in the project.

Source: The Kathmandu Post