As per the revised plan, the 14-megawatt Kulekhani III cascade hydropower project, which is under construction, will start test generation from beginning of January next year.
As per the initial plan, the project was scheduled to start commissioning power from 2012 but due to continuous problems related to the contractor the project is yet to be completed. Another problem that has delayed the completion of the project is the frequent change in policy along with the change in the government.
“We have a target to start test generation by January next year and the work progress at present has been satisfactory,” said Kul Man Ghising, managing director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
The Kulekhani III hydropower project is in Indrasarobar Rural Municipality in Makawanpur district.
“NEA has directed the concerned officials of the project to complete it within December by mobilising all available means and resources provided by the government,” informed Ghising, adding that the contractor has made a commitment to hand over the project to NEA on schedule.
The Kulekhani III project has been mainly delayed due to Chinese construction company, Jheijian Jialin, which was given contract to complete the electromechanical and hydromechanical works. As per Ghising, the government has been applying due pressure on the contractor to complete its works on time. In fact, NEA has also approached the Chinese embassy to ask the company to finish the electromechanical and hydromechanical works as per schedule.
Meanwhile, Sino Hydro, another Chinese company responsible for the civil works of the project has completed 99 per cent of its works. It has already completed construction of the powerhouse and substation at the project site. It has also finished installing the switchyard.
Initially, construction cost of the project was expected to hover around Rs 2.43 billion but after perennial delays it has now escalated to around Rs five billion. Also, initial projection had estimated production cost per megawatt power to stand at Rs 173.6 million. However, as per the revised estimate, it is now expected to cost above Rs 310 million per megawatt.
At present, Kulekhani I reservoir project has been producing 60 megawatts of energy and Kulekhani II, a cascade hydro project, has been producing 32 megawatts of power.
The Himalayan Times