Upper Tamakoshi Hydel: Project reaches next milestone

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    • Construction of tailrace tunnel over for 456MW plant

    DOLKHA, SEP 26 – In another major breakthrough, the construction of the tailrace tunnel—which discharges water from the power house—of the 456 megawatt Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project was completed on Thursday.

    Tunnel workers celebrate the breakthrough
    Tunnel workers celebrate the breakthrough

    Estimated to cost Rs 35.29 billion, it is the biggest hydropower project commissioned through mobilisation of the country’s indigenous capital. The government, financial institutions and public enterprises, including Nepal Telecom, Employees Provident Fund, Rastriya Beema Sansthan, and Citizen Investment Trust have invested in the project.

    “This is the second breakthrough for the project,” said Ganesh Neupane, the UTHP spokesman. “The contractor had been constructing the 3km-long tunnel from two ends and they completed the work on Thursday morning.”

    With that, 69 percent of the overall work of the project has been over. One of national pride projects, Upper Tamakoshi is expected to be completed by July 2016.

    “We are on course to complete the project on time,” said Neupane. According to him, works on headrace tunnel are also moving swiftly, with 2,650 metres remaining to be dug.

    After several failed attempts, Chinese contractor Sino Hydro Corporation subcontracted the work to another Chinese firm with an experience of digging a 900m vertical shaft in China.

    Neupane said the Chinese contractor is making a rapid progress on the 372-metre vertical shaft of the tunnel.

    Under pressure from the project to complete the headrace tunnel within five months, the Sino Hydro has since hired Indian company Alimak to dig the remaining 310 metres of  the lower penstock shaft.

    Some 82 percent of the civil and 30 percent of hydro mechanical works are said to have been completed.

    While distributors have been fixed in five out of the six units in the power house, three of them have already been put to the pressure test. “Now, we’re ready to place the turbines in the powerhouse,” said Neupane.

    Source : eKantipur