Chameliya hydropower to start trial production ‘soon’The Chameliya Hydropower Project being built in the far western region of the country is likely to start trial production within a couple of weeks. The electricity generated by the plant will be fed into the national grid a month after that.
The Chameliya Hydropower Project being built in the far western region of the country is likely to start trial production within a couple of weeks. The electricity generated by the plant will be fed into the national grid a month after that.
China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the civil contractor for the project, has completed all the civil works of the 30 MW project and handed them over to the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical contractor to conduct a wet test.
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical contractor, has started filling the scheme’s 4-km-long tunnel with water to conduct the wet test. According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the owner of the project, it will take around 10 days for the tunnel to be filled completely.
“It has been several days since the Korean company channelized water from the Chameliya River into the tunnel, and it will take another 10 days to fill the tunnel,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, the NEA appointed project chief of Chameliya. “Once the tunnel is filled with water, Korea Hydro will start the wet test of the project.”
During the wet test, water from the tunnel will be channelized into various hydro- and electro-mechanical equipment including the plant’s turbines. Technicians will then check if all the machines are functioning properly. “The west test should be completed by the end of October, and then a trial transmission will be done,” said Dahal.
After these tests, one of the most troubled hydro projects in the country which saw time and cost overruns will finally be completed. The construction of Chameliya started in January 2008 and was originally scheduled to be completed by June 2011. But the completion date was pushed back repeatedly due to disputes between the NEA and the contractors. Work at the site came to a halt in 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 then energy minister Janardan Sharma.
The Chinese civil contractor for the project, which returned to work in October 2016 after more than two years, then speeded up work and completed the construction within the September deadline.