Oct. 28, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 10, No.6, October 28( Kartik 12,2073)

The process of selection of contractors for the construction of Tanahu Hydropower is in progress. The work on building the office, contractors’ residence, sub-station, link roads and other infrastructure in the project area is nearing completion.

Almost 400 meters, the audit tunnel in the underground powerhouse site has been built and the remaining work on testing the sites and geology of the underground powerhouse is in progress.

A bridge linking the dam-site and underground powerhouse site has already been completed and the road widening and construction activities are going on in full swing. By the beginning of January next year, the project will have everything required to launch the massive construction of the hydel plant.

With the final selection of contractors, Tanahu Hydropower Project, the first and biggest storage project so far, is likely to resume its construction work by the middle of next year.

Access roads (totaling 7.3 km) and several temporary and secondary access roads will provide access to the project area. Temporary facilities include contractor's camps, equipment and maintenance yard, office areas and project staff's camp area.

“This project is already two years behind schedule due to problems encountered in the time of consultant selection. However, the five years' construction period will be completed in time by awarding contract to competent international contractors.  Hopefully, the construction period will shorten," said Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of Nepal Resident Mission of Asian Development Bank, who has been here since 2012. "The selection process for the contractors will start very soon. The contract agreement will be signed early next year and the construction period will start the next year. Once the construction is completed, this is going to be the largest storage project of Nepal.”

An 87m motorable bridge has been constructed over the Seti River to carry out initial work. Contractor Rasuwa Construction built the bridge with an investment of Rs110 million.

An access road from Chapaghat, Damauli, to the dam site and powerhouse has almost been completed with work in progress on 4km black-topped and 2km gravelled roads.

Sima and Brothers Kashyap JV has bagged the contract of constructing the road from Chapaghat to Seti bridge, while Ashish Machhapuchhre Parajuli JV has taken the responsibility of constructing the road from Seti bridge to the powerhouse through Jhaputar. Auxiliary works are being carried out at full speed so that the contractor could start work right after being appointed.

“Construction of infrastructure, except for the main tunnel and power house, is moving ahead smoothly,” said Bidur Adhikari, man in charge of the project site. “It is necessary to develop storage-type projects to end load-shedding throughout the year.”

Asian Development Bank, Japan International Development Agency, European Investment Bank and Nepal government are investing in the project that is estimated to cost Rs 54.25 billion.

After nearly a year-long row over the issue, a Prime Minister-level intervention ensured the consultant—the joint venture between Germany’s Lahmeyer International and Canada’s Manitoba Hydro—could work.

Tanahun Hydropower Limited, the developer of project, aims at completing the project within the next five years.

As per the preparatory works, the project has distributed compensation for 150 ropanies of land acquired at the dam site and entry gate area. Compensation payment for land to be inundated by the dam will be started this fiscal year, according to the project. The project is likely to inundate areas along 18km stretch from Kahun Shivapur to Bhimad.

Locals have expressed happiness over the project. “We are hopeful it will boost businesses here,” said Keshav Bahadur Thapa from Kahun Shivapur.

The locals have been given training for carrying out income generating activities such as fishery.

Tanahu Hydropower Limited (THL) is a subsidiary company of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) established in 2012 to develop the 140 MW Tanahu Hydropower Project (formerly, Upper Seti (Damauli) Storage Hydroelectric Project). The project site is situated 150 km west of Kathmandu on Seti River near Damauli of Tanahu District in Gandaki Zone.

The project is a storage type hydropower project with an estimated average annual energy generation of 587.7 GWh (Years 1-10) and 489.9 GWh (Year 11 onwards). The project is designed for peaking up to six hours in dry season. The main components of the project are a 140m high concrete gravity dam with a crest length of 175m on the Seti River and a reservoir with a total surface area of 7.26 km2 at FSL (EL 415m).

The waterway consists of a 7.4 m diameter, 1,203 m long headrace tunnel. A 117 m long 7.4m diameter tailrace tunnel will discharge the tail water back into the Seti River. An underground powerhouse measuring 27m wide x 46m high x 97m long will be built approximately 6 km (along the river course) downstream of the dam.

The project will also include rural electrification (RE) and transmission lines (TL) component. A new 220 kV double circuits Transmission Line will evacuate the generated power to the Bharatpur Substation. The length of the transmission line corridor is 39 km. The project will electrify villages through its Rural Electrification (RE) Program in 18 VDC areas.

ADB will provide loan of US$ 150 million of the co-funding. Similarly, JICA will provide US$ 183 million and European Investment Bank will provide US$ 70 million loan, which further increased to 85 million. Fund from Nepal government and NEA will be used for the preparation of preconstruction infrastructure.

ADB loan will be used for the construction of head works, rural electrification, transmission line, and that for JICA for the construction of tunnel, power house, and supply and installation of hydro-mechanical and electromechanical equipment. The project will complete in 2022.

 “THL has signed the contract agreement on June 29, 2015 with project supervision consultant (PSC) M/S Lahmeyer International in association with Manitoba Hydro. International, Canada, for project supervision works. The consultant will work for twelve years in the project. The consultant will assist one year for pre-construction activities, six years for project construction and last five years for project operation,” said Adhikary.

Keshab Poudel

Keshab Poudel

Poudel is the editor of New Spotlight Magazine.

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