Texamo Railway Engineering, the Indian contractor for the hydro-mechanical portion of the Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, has subcontracted a crucial part of its job to Austrian firm Andritz Hydro so that the much delayed project can be completed within the revised deadline of November 2019.
A tripartite agreement to this effect was signed Monday between Texamo, project owner Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Company and Andritz. As per the pact, the Austrian firm, which is currently implementing the electro-mechanical portion of the project, will also perform some of the critical hydro-mechanical tasks that were originally contracted to Texamo.
Andritz will install a major part of the high pressure steel penstock pipes at the 456 MW power plant being developed in Dolakha district, according to Bigyan Raj Shrestha, the government appointed project chief of Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Company. “While signing the agreement, both contractors pledged to complete the construction of the power plant by November 2019,” said Shrestha. “Also, we do not have to bear any additional financial burden as the Indian contractor will make payment to the Austrian contractor.” Upper Tamakoshi convinced Texamo to reassign the crucial task of installing the penstock pipes to the Austrian contractor after delays by the Indian firm in implementing the hydro-mechanical portion threatened to push back the completion date of the already much delayed power project. The penstock pipe conveys water from the reservoir to the turbines to generate electricity, and fitting such pipes is considered to be one of the most challenging tasks of the hydro-mechanical component.
The 456 MW national pride project plans to start commercial generation of electricity by mid-November 2019 after revising its completion deadline for the third time. The project has faced cost overruns due to the delay. It was initially planned to be built at a cost of Rs35 billion, but the final bill is now expected to reach Rs50 billion. The total cost will reach Rs70 billion if interest is added. Nevertheless, the project is considered to be a model project which is being developed with domestic resources and a high level of participation by project-affected locals and the general public.
Upper Tamakoshi is a strategic project designed to end the country’s perennial power crisis. After the Upper Tamakoshi roars into life, Nepal is projected to have surplus energy at least during the wet season, and the Nepal Electricity Authority, the state-owned power utility which is the sole off taker of power in the country, will be in a position to export electricity to neighbouring India.
During the wet season, surplus energy can be transmitted over the Khimti-Dhalkebar transmission line to the Dhalkebar substation, and on to the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line for export to India.
The Kathmandu Post