Rasuwagadhi Hydropower faces problem in tailrace tunnel digging

Published On: February 11, 2020 09:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

RASUWA, Feb 11: The under-construction Rasuwgadhi Hydropower Project in Rasuwa has faced a problem in digging of tailrace tunnel due to weak geological conditions. 

Of the total 660 meters, weak geological condition has affected tunnel digging work in about 70-meters section, according to the project office. "Weak geological conditions have slowed our work progress. It will now take six months to complete the tailrace tunnel," an official of the project said.

Works in dam site and surge shaft area has also been affected due to security reasons. According to the project office, work in dam site was affected for nearly six months due to the landslide in June last year. 

The project work has also been affected due to coronavirus outbreak in China. According to Chhabi Gaire, chief of the project, only around 100 Chinese workers are at the project site these days. "Before the outbreak, we had about 200 Chinese works. The workers, who returned home for New Year celebration, have not returned," he added.

The project based in Timure of Gosainkunda Rural Municipality-2 has achieved 75% work progress. The tailrace tunnel is being built by the project's civil contractor China International Water and Electronic Corporation (CWE).

The construction of 111-megawatt project started in 2014. As per the construction schedule, the project had to be completed by August, 2017. But the 2015 earthquakes and numerous floods and landslides affected the project. 

The plant will generate 613.87 GWh of energy annually and will earn Rs 12.5 million per day.

The project is estimated to cost Rs 13.68 billion. Chilime Hydropower Company Limited, a subsidiary of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), holds 33% stake in Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Company Limited. Likewise, depositors of Employment Provident Fund own 19% of shares, while NEA employees and general public hold 18% and 15% of the shares, respectively. Locals of the project-affected area own 10% of the shares, while employees of promoter company and lender organizations own 3.5% and 1.5% of the shares, respectively.

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