Chameliya to start test production on November 4The Chameliya Hydropower Project is scheduled to start test production on November 4, plant owner Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said.
The Chameliya Hydropower Project is scheduled to start test production on November 4, plant owner Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) said.
According to the state-owned power utility, the 30 MW project located in far west Nepal will start producing electricity commercially and connect to the national grid by the second week of December.
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical contractor, has taken over the project from China Gezhouba Group Corporation, the civil contractor for the project.
The Korean contractor is currently conducting tests of various equipment installed in the powerhouse and the transmission line.
The manufacturers of the machinery set up at the hydropower plant will also participated in the tests in a few days.
“On Thursday, the manufacturer of the communication system at the hydropower plant will visit the project site to do a final test,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, the NEA appointed project chief of Chameliya.
According to the NEA, all the tests will be completed by Saturday. “The same day, we will start filling the 4-km tunnel of the project with water diverted from the Chameliya River,” said Dahal. “By November 4, the tunnel will be filled with water, and the actual test will begin.”
The test generation will continue for a month, and then the electricity will be evacuated over the 132 kV Blanch-Attariya transmission line to Attariya, a business hub in far west Nepal, according to the NEA.
With this development, one of the country’s most troubled hydro projects which witnessed substantial time and cost overruns has taken the final step towards completion.
The construction of the Chameliya project started in January 2008. It was originally scheduled to be completed by June 2011, but the completion date was pushed back on multiple occasions due to disputes between the NEA and the civil contractor.
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 Chinese company 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 company, which returned to work in October 2016 after more than two years, then speeded up construction work and completed it within the September deadline.