Treatment of squeezed tunnel overChameliya Hydropower Project has reached a major milestone, with civil contractor China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) completing the treatment of the squeezed tunnel section.
Chameliya Hydropower Project has reached a major milestone, with civil contractor China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) completing the treatment of the squeezed tunnel section.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the owner of the 30MW project located in Darchula in the Far West, said the breakthrough in the treatment of the 232m squeezed section was achieved on Friday night.
The contractor, which had resumed civil work in October 2016 after more than two years of hiatus, has increased work pace and has expressed commitment to complete the task well before the deadline, according to NEA.
The contractor has also completed first layer shotcrete—a process of spraying concrete throughout the inner layer of the tunnel for its durability—of the treated tunnel, and is planning to complete the second layer within a couple of days.
“Now, the contractor will spend a week cleaning the 4.06km tunnel before starting the construction of a 47m rock-trap,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, project chief. “Rock-trap is a pit built in the tunnel to sediment pebbles and stones so turbines and other equipment of the hydropower plant are not damaged.”
It will take around three months for the contractor to complete the rock-trap, Dahal added. After the completion of the rock trap, CGGC has to block three audit tunnels that were opened while digging the main tunnel.
As per the revised work schedule prepared by the civil contractor and approved by NEA at the end of September 2016, CGGC has to complete remaining civil work by September 2017. “However, we have requested the contractor to complete its job a month earlier,” said Dahal. “It has not given a written commitment, but has said it will try to complete the work before the deadline.”
Similarly, as per the revised work schedule, the Korean contractor assigned to do electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical works will take additional three months to bring the project online after the civil works are completed.
“They have also been requested to complete the job a month earlier and they have also made same promises as the civil contractor did,” Dahal told the Post. “If both the contractors complete their job before the deadline, we can bring the project online by October 2017, two months before the revised deadline.”
The construction of the project had been stalled since May 2014 after the government refused to make an additional payment of Rs1.09 billion which the contractor had asked for due to cost variance resulting from the squeezing of the tunnel.
The contractor agreed to resume work after being summoned to the Energy Ministry and told to do so immediately by Minister Janardan Sharma. NEA also agreed to release a provisional payment of the disputed bill before the issue was resolved in order to maintain a regular cash flow for the project.
Once the dispute is settled, the contractor has to return the excess if it has been paid too much and it will receive additional payment in case of a deficit.