KATHMANDU, Oct 16: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is preparing to award the contract of remaining works of Dhalkebar sub-station among few selected contractors, officials privy to the development said.
The state-owned power utility had terminated the contract with the Chinese contractor, Central China Power Grid (CCPG), last month over the latter’s non performance.
The NEA is speeding up the remaining 10 percent works of the sub-station, which is an urgent task for the power utility to bring in more power from India to meet the energy demand in the winter.
“We are preparing to announce bid for the project among few contractors. We will select one of them to complete the tasks,” the source told Republica: “We will seek applications from at least three companies.”
The NEA and India’s Power Grid Corporation have already started to calculate the estimated cost of the remaining works and chart out the list of works that the new contractor will have to do.
“The competition among few contractors may make it marginally expensive but the target is to go for a fast track of awarding the contract. We aim to complete the works within the next four months,” added the source.
The Chinese contractor has already completed 90 percent works of the sub-station of 220 KVA. This is the third contract termination with the same Chinese contractor within a period of less than three months. The NEA had terminated two other contracts of building sub-stations in Inaruwa and Hetauda after the contractor repeatedly showed reluctance to expedite works. Both sub-stations are of 132 KVA capacity.
NEA officials had said that the executives of the contractor were unhappy with the NEA after its performance guarantee of about Rs 300 million against both the Inaruwa and Hetauda projects were seized. The contractor showed reluctance to improve performance in Hetauda despite repeated requests from the NEA.
The completion of the sub-station allows import of more electricity from India. Currently electricity is imported by setting up temporary transformers at Mujaffarpur of India.
The deadline for completing the project for CCPG was October-end. With the delay in the completion of the works of the sub-station, NEA officials are worried whether they can meet the rising demand of electricity in the peak months of winter. The NEA had imported 140 MW electricity via Dhalkebar-Mujaffarpur cross-border transmission line, out of total import of 385 MW from India last year.
The contract termination is one of the series of mishaps the NEA management has faced in its efforts of eliminating load-shedding completely this year. Earlier, the NEA’s plan of supplying more energy was affected after its effort of purchasing energy-efficient cheap led bulbs from India to save power drew a lot of controversy, compelling the power authority to put the plan on hold.
The NEA had to terminate contracts for installation of solar plants of 25 MW capacity in Nuwakot and Makawanpur due to controversy in the bid evaluation process.
Despite all these difficulties, the NEA is hopeful of adding up more power to its grid. It hopes to start power generation from the 30 MW Chameliya Hydropower Project by the end of December to improve supply for the months ahead.