Trailers carrying penstock pipes to the project site at Upper Tamakoshi.
DOLAKHA, Feb 23: Work for laying penstock pipes at Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, a national pride project, is gaining momentum after some of the works given to Indian contractor Texmaco were withdrawn and given to Austrian company Andritz Hydro.
The Indian company was delaying its work of laying penstock pipes, which was significantly affecting the progress of the whole project.
According to the project officials, both the companies are now working together to lay the upper and lower sections of the penstock pipes.
Ganesh Neupane, the spokesperson for the project, said: “The planned penstock for the project has a steep incline and sharp bend that made its construction and laying very difficult for the Indian contractors.”
According to Neupane, at present, both the contractors are expediting their work and the complicated section of the penstock pipes was completed last week.
“The Indian company had a very difficult time for completing the job before the Austrian contractor Andritz was assigned to complete the task,” he added.
Alongside, the work of transporting necessary construction material is also gaining traction with the recent developments in the project.
Around 60 pipes that were left stranded in Khadi Chaur of Sindupalchowk by the Indian contractor are also being transported to the project site at the moment. Eight large scale trailers are deployed for the purpose.
“It takes around a week to transport the penstock pipes from Sindupalchowk to the project site,” Neupane said, adding: “The work to transport the remaining ten penstock pipes will be completed within a week.”
According to the project officials, more pipes are being imported from India; some of them have already reached the Birgunj border, from where they will be transported up the hills to the project site. Previously, the Indian contractor had transported half of the 198 small and large penstock pipes up to Sunkoshi in Sindupalchowk.
Works at Tamakoshi, like other major hydropower projects, are divided into four components: civil, hydro-mechanical, electro-mechanical, and transmission line. These different components have been contracted out to different international contractors specializing in the respective areas.