Kathmandu, April 17
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said that construction works of the 60-megawatt Upper Trishuli III A hydropower project and 14MW Kulekhani III project are in the final stages and the electricity generated by the two projects will be connected to the national grid by May.
As per NEA, the Upper Trishuli III A project will be able to commission the first unit — 30 megawatts — of electricity by April and the second unit by June 30. The project has started filling the five-kilometre-long main tunnel with water for test purposes.
Similarly, 4.2-km-long tunnel of the Kulekhani III project is also being filled with water for test purposes. The Kulekhani III project has missed completion deadline, which was revised multiple times due to slow progress of Chinese contractor firm, Jheijian Jialin Company, hired for hydromechanical and electromechanical works. The project’s completion deadline has been extended seven times since construction began in April 2008.
According to Kul Man Ghising, managing director of NEA, completion of both the projects will be an achievement for NEA as both had faced numerous hurdles during the construction phase. Installation of turbines, generators and electromechanical and hydromechanical equipment of both the projects has been completed, he said.
Earlier, a meeting between Ghising, concerned project officials, consultant firms, project contractors and transmission line contractors in March, had decided to commission the generated electricity from May.
“We faced many hassles during the construction of both the projects including delays caused by the earthquakes and blockade in the southern border in 2015. However, we have been able to meet the extended deadline to commission the electricity,” said Ghising.
He further said that some works related to the transmission line of the Kulekhani III project are remaining and will be completed before the generation deadline. The project is a cascade project of 60MW Kulekhani I and 32MW Kulekhani II projects. As per Ghising, power generated by the project will help manage the demand and supply situation of Kathmandu Valley.
The Upper Trishuli III A project located in Nuwakot was earlier surrounded in uncertainty after the contractor, China Gezhouba Group Company, halted all works citing heavy damage to the access road and dam during the 2015 earthquake. The Chinese firm resumed works after the government had the access road repaired by the Nepali Army.
A version of this article appears in print on April 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.