Dolakha, February 24
Work on laying penstock pipes has started at the under-construction Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Power Project at Lamabagar of Bigu Rural Municipality, Dolakha. Pipes are being laid at both upper and lower vertical tunnels.
After Indian company Texmaco failed to lay the pipes at both the tunnels, Austrian company Andritz was assigned the contract to lay the pipes. The company was awarded the contract to lay penstock pipes.
Lower penstock has 373-metre long vertical tunnel. Texmaco has agreed to lay the pipes at the 310-metre long upper tunnel and the company has started work, said project Spokesperson Ganesh Neupane. Andritz had started its work immediately after it signed the contract. Neupane said the project would be completed within the deadline.
The hydel project, Nepal Electricity Authority and the Ministry of Energy had agreed to give the responsibility of laying pipes at the lower penstock to Andritz around two months ago.
The hydel project had set the target of starting generation of power from last December. But, it could not meet the deadline due to delay in supply of penstock pipes. The project has to lay 1,134-metre penstock pipe.
The first deadline for completing the project by 2016 had been extended till 2018 due to the 2015 earthquakes. However, the project failed to meet the second deadline too. Now the project has fixed November 2019 as the new date for conducting power generation test.
Due to earthquakes, border blockade, price hike, weakening of Nepali rupee and increasing administrative expenses, the cost of the project has almost doubled. The initial estimated project cost was Rs 35 billion.
Work on constructing the 220 KV transmission line from powerhouse Gongar to Khimti is also under way. Construction work of the project is divided into four sectors. China’s Sino Hydro Corporation is undertaking civil construction while Texmaco Rail and Engineering is working on hydro mechanical. Austria’s Andritz Hydro GMB is working on electro-mechanical.
A version of this article appears in print on February 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.