The Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) during the recent visit of the Prime Minister to Europe had signed two agreements with two international companies that will allows it to get into hydro software and also consultancy.
Both are not only lucrative areas that would save Bhutan a lot of money for its own projects but it would also contribute to making Bhutan a center of excellence in hydropower.
The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that the JV with Andritz will lead to the creation of a company called Bhutan Automatic and Engineering Services that will focus on making remote control systems called SCADA.
Lyonchhen said that Andritz is a one of the world’s leading hydropower companies and though it normally goes for majority ownership it made an exception for Bhutan by agreeing to 51% ownership by DGPC in the JV.
SCADA is a computer based control of the hydropower systems. The PM said that the same systems apart from hydropower projects like Tala and others could be used for Bhutan Power Corporation, Cement plants and other industries.
Lyonchhen said that he came across the idea while visiting the Basochu project whose control system was outdated and based on the Windows Xp and so it could not be operated as that system was no longer used.
The PM said that at that time he had suggested getting around 20 professionals including Bhutanese to start developing our own control systems.
Lyonchhen said his suggestions also matched with the DGPC’s own efforts on it.
The PM said at first Bhutan would import the parts and assemble it here and then look at manufacturing the parts here. The company would also be doing computer coding for the systems.
Lyonchhen pointed out that many of Bhutan’s existing and upcoming projects would need the services of the company. This new company’s first client would be the Kurichu project whose control system is very basic and outdated.
The system in Tala itself is expected to save Nu 300 mn if it is done in house by Bhutan.
The PM said that he was very excited as Bhutan would not just be in the business of selling electricity but also be involved in manufacturing, design, repair and also operations. Lyonchhen said that Bhutan would be making use of the entire hydropower eco systems.
Lyonchhen also announced that DGPC’s Druk Green Consultancy will be working with another international company Bernard so that the new company can improve and expand the hydropower consultancy that DGPC provides.
DGPC’c consultancy has already given its services for the Nikachu project, Dorji Lung and Nyeri Amri.
The partnership is expected to strengthen Research and Development and enable DGPC to take up bigger consultancies and also do detailed project reports. The company will be also employ Bhutanese to work abroad and get experience.
Lyonchhen said that during his visit he thanked the European Union and Swiss counterparts for the 11th plan and also updated them on the upcoming 12th plan.