Nepal | April 07, 2020

Upper Tamakoshi starts headworks tests

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 15

Aiming to meet the latest completion deadline of July 15, the 456-megawatt Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project (UTHP) has started to test its headworks and semi-reservoir from today.

Taking into account that the completion deadline is nearing, the project developer has initiated the tests of headworks and descending, informed Bigyan Shrestha, project chief of UTHP.

“We have started filling the reservoir from today and it will take at least seven days to fully fill it and conduct the final test,” he informed, adding that almost 99.3 per cent of works of the project has been completed so far.

He said that the project developer had massively accelerated construction activities to disprove the widespread buzz that the project was going to miss its completion deadline yet again.

As of now, Texmaco Railway Engineering of India, which is responsible to instal penstock pipes along 373 metres of the vertical tunnel has installed a total of 145 metres of the pipes. Similarly, Andritz Hydro, an Austria-based contractor, which is responsible to instal the pipes along 310 metres of the tunnel, has completed installing 250 metres of the pipes so far.

This means a total of 395 metres of penstock pipes have been installed in the tunnel out of 683 metres, while both contractors are yet to instal pipes along 288 metres of the vertical tunnel.

Considering the slow pace of work, Andritz Hydro was brought in, in January of last year to take on part of installing the penstock pipes.

Shrestha further said the additional penstock pipes are close to being delivered at the project site.

Stating that the project has not been affected due to the coronavirus outbreak, he added, “Our staffers and contractors are working on a full-fledged manner by utilising the available resources.”

As per Shrestha, the works related to civil, electromechanical, transmission lines have almost completed.

“We have been putting pressure on the contractors to complete the project on time at any cost,” he said, adding that the developer was mulling over carrying out installing the penstock pipes round the clock by hiring additional workers.

Kul Man Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority, had recently visited the project site and instructed the project developer to accelerate works while assuring to facilitate in removing any hurdle faced by the contractors.

A few months ago, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun, along with Dinesh Ghimire, secretary at the ministry, had also visited the site and directed the concerned stakeholders to complete the works within the stipulated deadline.

In accordance with the revised deadline, which was extended for the fourth time in November, the project is scheduled to produce 76 megawatts of power from the first unit of its six units by mid-July.

A version of this article appears in print on March 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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