Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Project achieves tunnel breakthrough

Published On: August 21, 2018 08:36 AM NPT By: HIMNATH DEVKOTA

RASUWA, Aug 21: Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Project (111 MW) achieved breakthrough in tunnel digging on Monday. 

The breakthrough was achieved after workers of the 2,303-meter second audit dug through to the 1,882-meter third audit of the 4,185-meter tunnel of the hydropower project on Monday, according to project officials. 

With this, the project can now begin concrete works in the tunnel of the hydropower project located in Timure of Gosainkunda Rural Municipality of Rasuwa. The concrete work is expected to be completed in seven to eight months, according to project officials.

China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) is the contractor for the project’s tunnel works. 

Though construction work of the project started in January, 2014, it faced multiple hurdles, including the 2015 earthquakes, quake-triggered landslides and Indian blockade.

The project has achieved overall work progress of 67 percent, while 75 percent of works of tailrace tunnel has been completed so far. Similarly, about 45 percent work of the underground powerhouse of the project has been completed so far. 

The project, however, has kept work on dam site on hold due to high water level on the river. It plans to resume works after the water level recedes.

“Concrete work in powerhouse is underway,” Tej Saud, public relation officer of the project, told Republica. “The plan is to begin power generation from all three units by the end of December 2019.” 

The plant, which will generate 613.87 GWh of energy annually, will earn Rs 12.5 million per day by selling electricity to Nepal Electricity Authority. 

The project had initially targeted to complete all works by August 2017. But it had to reschedule the project works due the 2015 earthquakes and subsequent Indian blockade.

The project is being developed by Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Company Limited. It is estimated to cost Rs 13.68 billion.

Chilime Hydropower Company Limited, a subsidiary of Nepal Electricity Authority, holds 33 percent stake in Rasuwagadhi Hydropower Company Limited. Likewise, depositors of Employment Provident Fund own 19 percent shares, while NEA employees and general public hold 18 percent and 15 percent of the shares in the company, respectively. The project-affected locals own 10 percent of the company’s shares, while employees of promoter company and lender organizations own 3.5 percent and 1.5 percent of the shares, respectively.

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