75 percent of Gongor-Khimti transmission line completedUpper Tamakoshi Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and developer of much-talked about Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, has completed construction of over 75 percent of the 220kV Gongor-Khimti Transmission Line Project.
Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Company, a subsidiary of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and developer of much-talked about Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, has completed construction of over 75 percent of the 220kV Gongor-Khimti Transmission Line Project.
The 47km transmission line is crucial to evacuate hydroelectricity generated by 456MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project which is slated to come online by the end of December.
The company has installed electricity cables on 18km stretch of the transmission line project. Out of 127 power transmission towers that are needed, 109 have been erected. The company is installing 14 other towers and foundations of four towers are being laid.
“Foundations for four towers will be laid within one and a half months and the entire transmission line will be built well before monsoon,” said Ganesh Raj Neupane, spokesperson of the company. If the company meets this deadline, construction of the transmission line will be completed before the hydropower project comes online.
The company has also started construction of a substation at Khimti where electricity produced by the project will be evacuated. “Our plan is to complete the construction of the substation by the end of December when the project is slated to come online,” said Neupane.
Construction of the 456MW hydropower project is also moving ahead at a satisfactory pace with the company completing around 95 percent of construction work.
Currently, it is busy installing hydro- and electro-mechanical equipments at the power plant. However, due to the poor condition of road from Khadichaur to Charikot in Dolakha, the project office is facing difficulties transporting heavy electromechanical equipments that need to be installed at the site where the hydropower plant is being built.
The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has been identified as a strategic scheme as it is expected to end the country’s power woes. After the Upper Tamakoshi roars into life, NEA will even be in a position to export electricity to neighbouring India. During the wet season, surplus energy can be transmitted over the Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line to the Dhalkebar substation and on to the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line for export to India.
The national pride project was originally scheduled to be completed in mid-July 2016, but the earthquake, Indian trade blockade and various technical and social issues pegged back the completion date. Before the earthquake hit the country, the project had completed 79 percent of civil works.
It faced cost overruns due to the delays. The project is now expected to cost Rs42 billion, up from the previous estimate of Rs35.3 billion.
Nevertheless, the project is considered to be a model project which is being developed with indigenous resources and significant participation of project-affected locals and the general public.