RASUWA, March 6: Blasting work to lay down penstock pipes at the under-construction Sanjen Hydropower Project at Ama Chhodingmo Rural Municipality-5 of Rasuwa has resumed after a brief hiatus.
All works at the construction site had come to a halt after the government enforced a nationwide lockdown as part of its preparation to contain the spread of COVID-19. According to Kiran Kumar Shrestha, CEO of Sanjen Jalavidyut Company Ltd, which is executing the project, works are underway to widen the tunnel drilled previously to laydown penstock pipes of 900 meters.
“We had completed the drilling previously. Now, tunnel widening work is going on. As the contractor has already brought necessary equipment for blasting and widening works, everything will move on smoothly,” added Shrestha.
He, however, added that the work might see disruption if supplies of raw materials like cement and steel were affected. “We have forged coordination with different to ensure that the supply of raw materials is not affected,” said Shrestha.
The project has achieved a breakthrough in the digging of the main tunnel few months ago. The main tunnel of the project is 3,650 meters. According to the project, it has already completed plastering the main tunnel. The project has achieved 77% progress far.
According to the project, the contractor has already completed structures at the dam site. Likewise, the work of laying down siphon pipes is at the last leg.
Most of the Chinese workers of the project are in China due to the lockdown.
Meanwhile, the project has started laying down penstock pipes at one end. However, electromechanical work of the 42.5-megawatt project as key technical workers, who are from China, have not been able to come to the project site because of the lockdown.
Work at the project site started in 2012. The main contractor of the project is SEW Tundi JV. Civil works of the project are being undertaken by SEW Tundi JV, while Donfang Electric Corporation is overseeing the electromechanical works. Likewise, Nepal Hydro and Electric Limited has undertaken hydromechanical works, while Mudbhari and Joshi Construction Pvt Ltd is building the transmission line for evacuation of energy generated by the project.
Project contracts were given out on design, import, installation, testing and commissioning mode. The electricity generated from the project will be connected to the Chilime Hub that is being constructed by the Nepal Electricity Authority.
The project has seen multiple delays due to the 2015 earthquakes and subsequent blockade, landslide and negligence of the contractors. The project is estimated to cost Rs 5.24 billion.