Kathmandu, 15 July 2078 The final phase of testing to generate electricity from the first unit of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project under construction in Bigu village of Dolakha with domestic investment is in full swing. The project is scheduled to start generating electricity from the first unit of the project with a capacity of 456 MW with 6 units of 76-76 MW. After generating electricity from the first unit, electricity will be generated from the remaining units.
A team comprising Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority and Chairman of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited Hitendra Dev Shakya, Prime Minister’s Development Expert Gajendra Thapaliya monitored the project site on Sunday and Monday and set the schedule of power generation from the first unit from Monday.
The team monitored the equipment being tested at the power house, the dam site, the new Khimti substation under construction at Khimti 220 in Ramechhap and discussed with the officials involved in the construction. “We have brought the project, which has been facing various problems, to the point of generating electricity through continuous efforts. All the tests have reached the final stage. We will start power generation from the first unit by switching on Monday morning without any technical problems,” he said. “If the company had not taken an immediate decision on the design modification of the penstock pipe to be placed between the upper and lower tunnels and the construction of the transmission line tower, the project would have been postponed,” he said.
All types of tests on reservoirs and sand dredging ponds, dams, civil structures including intakes and all kinds of hydromechanical equipments like gates, staples connected there have been successfully completed. The first unit is being tested at the power house.
The electricity generated from the project will be transmitted to the national system through Gongar-Khimti-Dhalkebar 220 KV transmission line. For this, the construction of transmission line has been completed and the line is being tested.
The 76 km Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line is being tested. The 47 km 220 KV transmission line from Gongar of Upper Tamakoshi Power House Dolakha to Khimti of Ramechhap will be tested. The new Khimti substation of 220 KV under construction in Khimti is being tested. “As it will take a few days to test the substation, alternative arrangements will be made to connect the project’s electricity to the New Khimti substation and connect it directly to the Dhalkebar substation,” Shakya said. “We have made the necessary arrangements for this.”
After the completion of the construction of the substation, the electricity of the project will flow from New Khimti to Dhalkebar and from Khimti-Lamosanghu-Bhaktapur transmission line to Kathmandu Valley. The substation will be operational within 15 days.
The construction work of the project site office, access road to the project site, bridges and other infrastructures was started in the Fiscal Year 2062/63 BS and the construction of main structures was started in the Fiscal Year 2067/68 BS. The construction of the project was delayed due to the catastrophic earthquake of 2072 BS and subsequent aftershocks and floods, problems in transportation of fuel and construction materials due to Madhes movement, design change, poor performance of hydromechanical (Lot 2) contractor.
The contract for Lot 2 was awarded to Indian company Texma’s Rail and Engineering. Due to the poor performance of the company, the production and connection of hydro-mechanical equipments including penstock pipes of the dam have been delayed and the overall construction work of the project has been delayed.
The quake affected construction for nearly two years, forced construction of a tunnel to the dam site, manipulated the design of some structures, and affected the construction of the project, including Kovid-19, which has spread around the world as an epidemic.
After Texmaco, which got the contract for Lot 2, delayed the work, the responsibility of pipe connection in the lower vertical tunnel, which was considered very difficult, was given to the contractor of Electromechanical (Lot 3) without any financial burden on the project. The project has reached the stage of generating electricity with the tireless efforts and support of high political and administrative leadership, project staff, contractors, locals and others.
The project had upgraded the Charikot (Dolakha) -Singti 35 km road at a cost of around Rs 1 billion. The project has constructed 29 kilometers of road and 7 concrete bridges from Singti to the dam site Lamabgar.