Pancheshwar’s installed capacity revised

Kathmandu, March 3

A company appointed to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project has revised the installed capacity of the hydroelectric-cum-irrigation project to 4,800 megawatts.

The figure on installed capacity of the project, being developed jointly by Nepal and India, was derived through latest hydro-meteorological data gathered by WAPCOS Ltd, an Indian state-owned company hired to prepare DPR.

WAPCOS submitted the final draft of the DPR to the Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA) which is implementing the project two days ago, PDA CEO Mahendra Gurung told The Himalayan Times.

Although the proposed installed capacity of the project is lower than the previous estimate of 5,600MW, the power generation capacity is still more than three times Nepal’s existing peak electricity demand of around 1,300MW.

Officials at the Ministry of Energy said the installed capacity of the project, being built on the Mahakali River in far-western Nepal, was revised downwards due to change in pattern of river flow over the years and availability of water in the river, among others.

Earlier, both Nepali and Indian governments had come up with their own estimates on installed capacity through their own DPRs. The findings mentioned in the two previous DPRs have now been synthesised in the latest report prepared by WAPCOS.

“The final draft of the DPR will now be handed over to the governments of Nepal and India for consultation. We will incorporate the recommendations and prepare the final DPR in the next one to two months,” said Gurung.

Along with final draft of Pancheshwar DPR, WAPCOS has also prepared a report on development of a re-regulating dam at Rupaligad to regulate the flow of water released by Pancheshwar project. This dam has the capacity to generate another 240MW of electricity.

Together, Pancheshwar and Rupaligad projects can generate 12,000 gigawatt-hours, or 12 billion units, of electricity per year, according to Gurung.

Also, Pancheshwar project can be used to irrigate 93,000 hectares of land in Nepal and another 1.6 million hectares of land in India.

“What is important to note here is that Pancheshwar project can be brought into operation only during times when demand for electricity is at its peak. So, very little electricity generated by this project will go to waste.

Also, we can regulate the water flow for irrigation purpose because of construction of re-regulating dam,” Gurung said, adding, “Both the governments are keen on completing this project at the earliest.”

If the project is developed without any delay, it can satiate the needs of power hungry country, which is making attempts to become self-sufficient in the energy sector.


Management structure, budget finalised

Kathmandu, March 3

The third meeting of the governing body of Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA), which kicked off here today, has finalised the management structure of the PDA and budget for 2016, among others.

“The meeting took place in a cordial manner and most of the outstanding issues were resolved today,” Energy Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma told The Himalayan Times. “If things go according to plan, we will sign the minutes tonight and wrap up the meeting. Otherwise, we’ll wait until tomorrow morning.”

The two-day meeting was co-chaired by Sharma and Secretary at the Indian Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWRRDGR), Shashi Shekhar.

Today’s meeting decided to allocate a budget of Rs 400 to 500 million for PDA for 2016. “We will settle on the exact amount at a later date,” PDA CEO Mahendra Gurung said.

The meeting also decided to limit the size of the management team at 55, of which 30 staff will be of officer level. “This number does not include CEO, additional CEO and six directors of the executive committee,” Gurung said.

Also, today’s meeting of the governing body formally gave legitimacy to the executive committee of the PDA and works it had performed since its establishment several months ago.

In first meeting of governing body of PDA in September 2014, Nepal and India had agreed to form an executive committee comprising a CEO, an additional CEO and six directors.

The meeting had also agreed to appoint the first CEO and three directors from Nepal, and additional CEO and three other directors from India.

Since then Nepal has appointed all executive committee officials, including the CEO and three directors. India had also appointed additional CEO and a director but had failed to appoint finance and rehabilitation cum resettlement directors.

“Today, the Indian team informed that it has appointed finance and rehabilitation cum resettlement directors as well,” Gurung said, without revealing the names.

The meeting of the governing body of PDA was held to discuss issues related to implementation of Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project being built on Mahakali River in far-western Nepal.