KATHMANDU, Sept 24: A deadline has been set for the completion of the construction of the Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV transmission line and substations by mid-January next year. The Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV transmission line project is aimed at supplying electricity to the hydropower projects both under construction and planned along the Trishuli River and its tributaries.
Under the project, 220/132/33 KV Chilime Hub and Trishuli 3B Hub substations are under construction at Thambuche in Amachodingmo Rural Municipality of Rasuwa and Pahirebesi in Kispang Rural Municipality of Nuwakot respectively. Also, Chilime-Trishuli 3B hub 28 km 220 kV double circuit transmission line is being constructed.
On Saturday and Sunday, a high-level team led by Nepal Electricity Authority's Managing Director Kulman Ghising and Deputy Executive Director of Broadcasting Directorate Dirghayu Kumar Shrestha, conducted on-site monitoring of the substations and transmission lines under construction. They set a deadline for project completion by mid-January 2024 after discussions with the project management, consultants, and the contractor company.
The team has been instructed not to delay the construction work and to speed up the work by adding more workers. The team has set a schedule for completing all the remaining works and instructed them to carry out the work accordingly. The team will regularly monitor the construction progress.
NEA Managing Director Ghising said that due to the lack of transmission lines, the 111 megawatt Rasuwagadhi and 42.5 megawatt Sanjen hydroelectric projects under construction by Chilime Hydro Electricity Company should be taken seriously to prevent power leakage. The final phase of both projects is being done with the goal of producing electricity by mid-January 2024.
"The electricity produced by the two projects will help a lot in managing the electricity demand in the upcoming winter season. If there is a situation where electricity cannot be connected due to the lack of transmission lines, the state will suffer a huge loss. Let us all be serious and sensitive in this regard," Ghising said.
"The towers have to be built in very difficult geographical terrains. All the works such as laying the foundation of the towers, erecting them, pulling the wire, connecting the equipment of the substation, etc should be carried forward in parallel by adding manpower. “We are always ready to facilitate the cash flow that the contractor company is facing, to solve the social problem,” he said.
The transmission line construction has faced several challenges due to the difficult geographical terrain, lack of roads, problems in the transportation of construction materials, poor performance by contractors, land use issues in forest areas, and local obstacles, compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last two years, the Chinese company Pinggao Group of Companies, the contractor of the project, has made some improvements in its performance. The company has promised to complete the project by mid-January next year.
The civil construction work, which includes housing the main equipment of both substations, is in its final stages. All essential equipment, including power transformers and GIS units, have been transported to the project site. Furthermore, all the equipment required for the transmission line, such as towers and conductors, has been supplied to the construction site.
The foundations of 56 of the 76 towers on the total 28 km transmission line have been laid. The foundation of the rest of the towers is being laid. As many as 48 towers have been erected so far. The overall construction progress of the project is 90 percent.
The Chilime-Trishuli 3B hub transmission line includes a 20 km double-circuit line in the Chilime-Mailung section and an 8 km four-circuit line extending to the Mailung-Trishuli 3B hub. Korean companies are leading the construction of a multi-circuit line to connect the power generated by the 216 MW Upper Trishuli-1 hydroelectric project, with 60 percent of the construction cost being covered by Upper Trishuli-1.
A contract was signed with Pinggao in November 2017 for the construction of the transmission lines and substations. The contract agreement was implemented in January 2018. The estimated cost of the project is 30.9 million US dollars, with investments from the Nepal government, NEA, and concessional loans from the German Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.