-The Tamor Storage Hydro Project planned to be built on the Tamor River in eastern Nepal moved a step forward with the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) issuing a call for tenders to conduct a feasibility study and prepare a detailed design on Thursday.
The state-owned power utility has been mulling to build the plant with an increased installed capacity of 762 MW, a big jump from its original design of 200 MW. The global tender notice seeks expressions of interest from potential consultants to conduct the survey and prepare the design.
The Department of Electricity Development (DoED) has given the NEA the go-ahead to build the Tamor project with an installed capacity of 200 MW. But the utility plans to ramp up the project’s installed capacity to 762 MW if the study report shows it is technically and financially viable. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing the funds for the study.
As per the NEA’s tender notice, the consultant will have to conduct the feasibility study by making a field investigation, prepare a detailed engineering design of the project, update the environmental impact assessment and social safeguards and prepare the bidding documents.
The potential consultant must have experience in carrying out detailed engineering designs and preparing bidding documents for reservoir-type projects with an installed capacity of not less than 300 MW and a dam height of not less than 100 metres in order to qualify. The candidate will be selected under quality and cost-based methods as per the ADB’s guidelines.
If the Tamor plant is built with a higher capacity, the 37.5 MW Kabeli-A and 21.5 MW Lower Hewa hydro projects being developed downstream will be inundated, and the power utility will have to compensate the promoters to abandon them.
The NEA said that it had spoken with the promoters of the two projects, and that they were ready to abandon them in exchange for a cash compensation.
“Although we are yet to sign a memorandum of understanding, we have some level of understanding with the promoters of Kabeli-A and Lower Hewa,” said Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA.
Also, the NEA has applied for a survey licence at the DoED to conduct a feasibility study to increase the installed capacity of the Tamor Storage Hydro Project, and the department has asked the power utility to first get the consent of the two projects downstream. “We will soon strike a deal with the promoters of the projects downstream,” said Ghising.
In 1985, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) had proposed to build a 696 MW hydroelectric project on the Tamor River by building a 153-metre-high dam. However, the government did not show much interest in the proposal at that time.
The NEA management is now very keen on developing the project with the increased installed capacity.
It believes that upgrading the Tamor project by paying compensation to the smaller schemes is a better option.
If the plan materialises, the country’s energy production will see a massive jump, helping it to become self-sufficient in electricity generation and a net exporter.
From The Kathmandu Post