Kathmandu, November 18
Upper Trishuli (UT) 3 ‘A’ hydropower project finally started evacuating its full capacity of 60megawatts to the national grid from today. The project had commissioned just half of its rated capacity or 30 MW electricity when it was connected to the national grid on May 15.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inaugurated the project through the control room via video conference from Singhadurbar.
Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada and Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun formally inaugurated the project jointly by switching it on at the project site at Kispang-5 in Nuwakot and announced that the project was now fully connected to the national grid.
The project powerhouse, which is at a distance of 48 kilometres from the substation at Matatirtha of Kathmandu, is connected via a 220 kVA double-circuit transmission line.
Speaking at the inauguration programme, Kul Man Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), said the project is the backbone for Kathmandu Valley’s distribution system. “The Upper Trishuli 3A and Kulekhani reservoir projects will be crucial in reducing import of electricity from India.”
According to Ghising, the project was completed at a cost of around Rs 17.32 billion. The project cost was managed by the
government, NEA and a soft loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and built under engineering, procurement and construction model.
“We faced many hassles during the construction of the project, including delays caused by the earthquakes and blockade in the southern border in 2015. Nevertheless, we were able to meet the extended deadline to commission electricity from the project,”said Ghising.
After the contractor was unable to complete the project within the initial deadline of May 31, 2014, the NEA had extended the
completion deadline by 34 months to April 2019.
The Upper Trishuli 3A project was earlier shrouded 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 November 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.