DOLAKHA, April 23: The contractor of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project is beginning installation of penstock pipes in lower vertical shaft of the mega hydropower project from May 5.
The installment 372-meter penstock pipe in the lower vertical shaft is considered extremely risky and challenging. A 5m long pipe weighing 27 tons is to be installed in the lower shaft. Bend pen stock pipes have already been installed. Each pipe is five meter wide and weighs 27 tons.
The contractor has already completed installation of bend penstock pipes at the bottom of upper and lower vertical shafts. The contractor has started deploying to install penstock pipes above these bend pipes.
Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project Ltd had handed over the contract for installation of penstock pipes to Indian company Texmaco. However, as the company couldn't complete the task on time, the task has been handed over to Austrian firm Andritz Hydro. Andritz is also the contractor for Lot 3 of the project's electromechanical works.
Texmaco, however, still holds the contract to install penstock pipes in the upper vertical shaft. Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited, Texmaco, and Andritz signed a three-party agreement on January 7 to accomplish the task without any financial pressure, after the Indian firm missed deadlines repeatedly.
Meanwhile, Kulman Ghising, the managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and chairman of Tamakoshi Hydropower Limited, visited the project site on Saturday and directed all concerned to complete their tasks within the stipulated timeframe. Ghising made the site visit as instructed by the Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation and held talks with representatives of the contractor and the consultants.
Minister Pun has asked the NEA management to conduct meetings every month to ensure that remaining tasks of the mega project are completed as per the schedule.
“The project must be completed within the stipulated timeframe as this is a national pride project which can make significant contribution to the national economy," Ghising directed officials at the project site.
According to Ghising, civil and electromechanical works at the powerhouse have already been completed.
Texmaco CEO G C Agrawal told Ghising that the contractor was committed to completing remaining works of the project within the stipulated deadline.
The meeting decided to begin test of settling basin of the project by mid-May.
The 456-megawatt project suffered severe damage in the 2015 earthquakes. The project's initial estimated cost was Rs 35.39 billion. However, it has now escalated to Rs 49.29 billion, while the project needs to pay nearly Rs 20 billion in bank interest.