The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has appointed a Sino-Taiwanese joint venture to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) of the Upper Arun Hydropower Project.
The state-owned power utility on Monday signed a contract with the joint venture of CSPDR and Sino Tech to prepare the DPR and bid documents of the 335 MW power plant to be built in Sankhuwasabha district.
The consultant is required to prepare the design and submit it to the NEA within two years. The company will examine aspects of the project like hydrological statistics and test the soil and rock at the places where the dam, powerhouse and tunnel will be constructed. As part of the investigation, it has to bore a 900-metre audit tunnel in the area where the powerhouse will be built.
As per the agreement with the power utility, the consultant also has to optimize the installed capacity of the hydropower project. A feasibility study done by the NEA in 1991 with the help of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme has fixed the installed capacity of the project at 335 MW.
The study had envisaged that the project would generate not less than 75 percent of the installed capacity even during the dry season.
“We have asked the consultant to optimize the design in such a way that the plant would generate not less than 40 percent of the installed capacity even during the dry season,” said Bisho Dhoj Joshi, the NEA appointed project chief of Upper Arun.
“After the optimization, the plant will be built with an installed capacity of more than 600 MW.” However, the actual installed capacity of the project will be determined only after the consultant finalizes the detailed design of the project, Joshi added.
The NEA is also planning to call for tenders to design a 24-km access road to the project site. “We will invite tenders within a week to appoint a consultant to design the access road which will include a short tunnel,” said Joshi.
“We will give the consultant three months to prepare the design and start the construction immediately after the design is ready.” The NEA’s plan is to complete the access road before the construction of the hydropower project.
The power utility is planning to develop the project under the company model and has established Upper Arun Hydro Electric Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary, to implement the scheme. After the project comes online, it is expected to play a crucial role in fulfilling the power demand of load centres in the Eastern Region and minimize transmission loss.
From The Kathmandu Post