KATHMANDU, March 9: Work on the 37 MW Upper Trishuli 3B Hydropower Project under-construction in Rasuwa and Nuwakot under the People's Hydropower Program has gained momentum. The overall physical construction progress of the project, which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, has reached 58 percent so far.
The construction of the project is in full swing with the aim of completing the project by mid-October 2023. The construction of the project was halted for about 15 months as the Chinese workers who went to their homes in January 2020 to celebrate the New Year could not return due to the risk of COVID-19 and could not bring equipment and materials from China. The construction of the project resumed only in April 2021, but the second and third waves of COVID-19 again affected the work for about three weeks.
Also, construction was affected by the discovery of a much weaker rock than previously thought in the main tunnel. The contractor Chinese company Shuifa Anhe Group Co Ltd is currently constructing main structures including intake, main tunnel and powerhouse. Mohan Prasad Gautam, managing director of Trishuli Hydropower Company Limited and the promoter of the project, said that 2,865 meters of the main tunnel with a length of 3,805 meters has been dug.
"Surface powerhouse excavation has been completed and concreting of structures has started. Work is underway with the aim of concluding the first phase of concreting by mid-June, 2022 by connecting electromechanical equipment and parts," said Gautam.
"As the customs checkpoints with China have not been fully opened yet, the contractor company has not been able to transport the construction equipment and materials that have already been procured and ordered in China to the construction site. We have received information that they will be released from the customs soon.”
The contract agreement was signed with Shuifa Anhe Group Company on January 12, 2018, for the construction of the project in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model. The contractor company will design, construct, connect and operate all the civil and electromechanical and hydro-mechanical structures and equipment of the project.
As the Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower Project with a capacity of 60 MW constructed by Nepal Electricity Authority is a cascade project, the Upper Trishuli 3B will not have to build dams, desander and other structures.
The gate required to send the water released from the powerhouse of Upper Trishuli 3A to the tunnel of the project has been connected. The electricity generated will be transmitted to the national grid through the existing Samundratar-Trishuli 3B hub transmission line.