PM to visit UTKHP site

Kathmandu, November 7

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to visit Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project (UTKHP) site in Dolakha district tomorrow to observe the progress of the largest capacity hydropower project of Nepal.

UTKHP, the 456 MW run-of-river (RoR) project, being developed with the country’s own resources has been listed as national priority project. Construction of the project began in February 2011, with the initial plans to complete it by the end of 2016. The completion date was extended to mid-July of 2018 after the works were affected for one-and-a-half years after the devastating earthquake followed by border blockade last year. The devastating earthquake had also affected the dam site of the project.

According to Bigyan Shrestha, project chief of UTKHP, 82 per cent of the works of the project have been completed so far.

The prime minister’s project monitoring visit is expected to accelerate the works of the project. According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the long-standing power crisis in the country will come to an end when the UTKHP is completed.

Kulman Ghising, managing director of NEA, said the country’s total installed capacity will hover around 2,200 MW in the next few years against current 800 MW, as UTKHP, Chameliya, Kulekhani III and some other projects being developed by independent power producers will start commissioning power.

“Then the country will no longer witness rolling blackouts and we will have a reliable power supply,” Ghising said. The UTKHP would be able to generate full capacity energy for four hours in a day and is expected to be instrumental in catering to the demand during peak hours.

‘Distribution system needs to be upgraded’

Kathmandu, November 7

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said that the capacity of the substations and distribution system need to be enhanced to end the power shortage in the Kathmandu Valley, which is considered to be the major load centre of the country.

Electricity demand of the Kathmandu Valley hovers around 400 MW in the peak hours and the demand is rising with the increase of houses and industries in the valley.

“Without upgrading the distribution system, we will not be able to end load-shedding,” said NEA Managing Director, Kulman Ghising. “We are doing the ground work to increase supply in Kathmandu Valley to end load-shedding, but the capacity of substation, transmission, transformers and feeders is low and they are already overloaded.”

As per NEA, works to enhance distribution capacity need to be started promptly. NEA has projected that the total electricity demand hovers around 1,400 MW, while the total installed capacity of the country is just 800 MW.