Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project is now operational

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Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project is now operational

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, Nepal’s largest hydropower project, with a capacity of 456MW and a construction time of about ten years.

On Monday, one of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project’s six 76 MW units began generating energy, making it Nepal’s largest 456 MW hydropower project to date.

Nepal would become an energy surplus country during the rainy season once the project begins to discharge the power generated by its six units onto the national grid.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli pressed a button during a video conference from Baluwatar to begin the project on the Tamakoshi River in Dolakha District, north-central Nepal, some 200 kilometers from Kathmandu.
Winter [December to February] is a dry season for river hydropower projects with little or no water storage capacity, since the Himalayas of Nepal do not melt, and low water flow lowers electricity supply.

During the dry season, however, the Upper Tamakoshi plant can generate energy at full capacity for 4 hours, according to the proposal.
“This is a historic achievement,” said Nepal Electricity Authority managing director Hitendra Dev Shakya. “Nepal is now a country with a power surplus that can export electricity.”
This is the largest and most technically challenging significant project in Nepal. According to the project leader, it contains an underground plant, which is an engineering marvel.

The Shangyuyue hydroelectric project is hailed as being vital to Nepal’s economy since it would not only make the country energy self-sufficient and add to its GDP, but it will also cut India’s electricity imports during the dry season, saving billions of dollars.
At the opening, Energy Minister Bishnu Paudel claimed that the project’s full functioning is projected to generate about 1% of GDP. He stated, “This will assist increase industrial productivity.”

“This initiative demonstrates that we can pool funds from throughout the country and spend it in projects like Shangyuyue.” Four governmental companies, namely the Nepal Electric Power Authority, Nepal Telecom, Citizen Investment Trust, and Rastriya Beema Sansthan, own 51 percent of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited.

Prime Minister Ollie said, “The initiative has reinforced our trust.” “We can now create this sort of project using our own resources and people. We stopped load-shedding in 2017, although we were still importing electricity at the time.”
The Nepal Electricity Authority formally confirmed the end of the industrial sector in May 2018. After a year, customers in the area’s residential neighborhoods were subjected to unending power outages. Several assessments throughout the years have noted that Nepal’s infrastructure investment gap is significant, impeding the country’s economic progress.
Between 2007 and 2017, the country was hit by a massive power outage, with up to 18 hours of daily load loss.

The economy of Nepal has paid a high price for this decrease in load. According to a World Bank estimate, a dependable electricity supply will boost the country’s yearly GDP by roughly 7% and annual investment by 48%. The six-year initiative began in 2011 with the goal of addressing energy shortages. However, like other large national projects, this one has had setbacks, resulting in massive cost overruns and expense overruns.
Its value has risen to 850 billion rupees, or more than doubled.
The initial cost of the project, according to Bigyan Prasad Shrestha, Executive Director of Shangyuyue Hydropower Project, was 35 billion rupees [without interest]. “At this point, the project’s cost [without interest] has reached 530 billion rupees.

He estimates that the initial interest to be paid will be 14 billion rupees. “At the moment, the bank interest is just 32 billion rupees. As a result, the overall cost is around 850 million rupees. The yearly interest rate on the loan has been fixed at 11%.
On the one hand, the project represents a watershed moment for a nation like Nepal, which is grappling with infrastructure deficiencies, but it also serves as a reminder of how cost overruns and delays can stymie development plans. According to Nepal TV, the minister said. The inauguration was aired live on television.

“If we don’t finish the job on time, we’ll lose money. This project must teach us something.” The National Pride Project was supposed to be finished in mid-July 2016, however it was severely hampered by the 2015 earthquake. Access to the project site was entirely eliminated after the project completed 79 percent of the civil activities. The pressure pipe is expected to be installed in 2015. However, there were some obstacles.
Because the hydraulic machinery contractor, Texamo Railway Engineering Company of India, lacked the requisite competence to handle the difficult process of installing pressure pipes, construction progress was suspended for several months.

After the Indian firm abandoned the project after completing more than 95 percent of the construction work, Shangyuyue Hydropower Co., Ltd. hired a new contractor to install the high-pressure steel pressure pipe.
The project developer asked that the Indian contractor shift the important work of installing the pressure pipe to the Austrian business Andritz Hydro due to delays in the execution of hydraulic and mechanical components, which may cause the project completion date to be postponed.

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited, Texamo, and Andritz inked a tripartite agreement in January 2019 under which the Indian business subcontracted the sluice tube installation to an Austrian firm.
ANDRITZ quickly assembled the project site employees and commenced work after signing the agreement.
The facility was scheduled to open in mid-June 2020, but the Covid19 epidemic forced a postponement.

According to Madan Timsina, a spokeswoman for the Nepal Power Authority, electricity has been linked to the national grid from a unit for testing reasons.
He stated, “The test will last 710 days.” “Our objective is to link the electricity of the remaining two units of the project to the national grid by the end of current fiscal year, in mid-July.
The country’s maximum demand, according to Timilsina, is 1,350 MW. This means that during the rainy season, when all of Shangyuyue’s units start generating, the country will have roughly 500 megawatts of surplus electricity.

“However, from a technical standpoint, we require a backup project since the project occasionally floods, and some of the project’s machinery are out of commission and unable to provide energy.”
India presently imports around 300 megawatts of energy.
Timilsina has said that it will sell more power and that work in this area is now ongoing. “We’ll be able to sell it on the Indian electrical exchange.” However, we must enter a tender to sell power.

Although power company officials are happy to start power transactions, Prime Minister Oli said that after the power supply is sufficient, efforts should be made to minimize the cost of electricity for general consumers and industries.
Kul Man Ghising, former managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority, said Although there will be no risk of energy waste in the next few months until all the energy generated by the turbines of the project are evacuated, the country may have all projects from Dashain and Tihar Festival running at full capacity.
“Average purchase The electricity agreement (PPA) rate is 4.06 rupees per unit, which is the cheapest electricity price for the Nepal Electricity Authority,” Ghising said. “So it is beneficial to energy companies. Even after repaying the loan within a few years, it can generate considerable income, allowing more energy projects to be developed. “

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