Upper Tamakoshi receives Rolwaling survey licence

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    ep 19, 2017-The Department of Electricity Development has granted a survey licence for the 22 MW Rolwaling Hydropower Project to Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited (UTHL). The company is a subsidiary of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and the developer of the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project.

    Water in the tailrace of the Rolwaling scheme will be channeled into the intake of the Upper Tamakoshi project to boost its electricity generation capacity.

    “Additional water from the tailrace of Rolwaling Hydropower will increase the dry season energy of the Upper Tamakoshi by 169 gigawatt hours,” said Bigyan Raj Shrestha, NEA appointed project chief of UTHL. “The diversion of water from the tailrace of Rolwaling to Upper Tamakoshi will be completed within two years after the completion of the Upper Tamakoshi project.”

    The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, a strategic project designed to end the country’s acute power shortage, is on track to meet the revised completion deadline of July 2018 with 91 percent of the work finished. The project on Sunday attained a major breakthrough with the completion of a 310-metre vertical tunnel which will pave the way for vertical steel lining work.

    Likewise, the project is on the verge of another major breakthrough with only 270 metres of a 16-km main tunnel remaining to be dug. “We will dig the remaining 270 metres within 45 days,” said Shrestha.

    The national pride project was originally scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2016, but the earthquake, Indian trade blockade and various technical and social issues pushed back the completion date. Before the earthquake hit the country, the project had completed 79 percent of the civil works. It faced cost overruns due to these delays. The project is now expected to cost Rs42 billion, up from the previous estimate of Rs35.3 billion.

    Nevertheless, the project is considered a role model project which is being developed with domestic resources and significant participation of project affected locals and the general public.

    The project is also gearing up to float shares to the public, including those residing in project-affected areas, in December. The project is planning to issue 25 percent of the shares worth Rs2.64 billion at an initial public offering (IPO). It expects to wrap up the share distribution process by March 2018.

    The NEA, one of the promoters of the project, is selling 10 percent of the shares in the project to locals of Dolakha district affected by the project and 15 percent to the general public. A recent meeting of the District Coordination Committee Dolakha has decided to issue 10 percent of the project’s shares to project-affected locals immediately after the upcoming provincial and federal elections.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post