Despite disruption by earthquake and blockade, the work of Upper Tamakosi Project is picking up expecting to complete in the new schedule of June 2018.
Four turbines have already been installed and installation work of remaining two is at the final stage. Similarly, work to build foundation to install 19 transformers in the powerhouse is also in the last leg.
Following the earthquake, the project is completely disrupted with the surface road to dam site is washed out. The progress of the work was delayed due to scarcity of petroleum products.
As soon as the situation came to normalcy, Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Ltd, said that the project has made astonishing progress. Sinohydro, the contractor for civil works, has already built four-storied power house which will have generators and turbine. We will start fitting equipment in the power houses after few weeks. Work to build structure to install remaining two turbines will go simultaneously with hydro mechanical works.
Chief of the project, Bigyan Prasad Shrestha, said that the work in pour house has progressed faster than his expectations. “Turbine and Generator are being instaled by Andriz hydro GmbH, Austria has already started installing equipment in the power house," said Shrestha.
According to project official, work on a tunnel to the dam site is expected to complete within a month. The project has changed the design and decided to build a tunnel to the project site after a landslide triggered by the 2015 earthquakes away the access road to the dam site.
Nearly 89 percent of tunnel work between the dam site and the powerhouse has already been completed. Construction of the dam had been completed before the earthquake.
Officials expect that the scheudled to start commissioned by July 2018, after filling by June 2018.
Similarly, work on the transmission line to evacuate electricity is also making good progress. Ganesh Neupane, spokesperson of the project, said that the construction of transmission line to connect the power to Khimti is moving ahead in the right direction.
The power generated by the project will be supplied in the eastern region via Khimti Dhalkebar Transmission Line. A total of over 100 out of 127 towers have already been erected and all the equipment needed for installation have already been transported to the project site, according to the project officials. Cost escalates to Rs 45 billion
Delays due to earthquake and blockade as well as variation in tunnel works and depreciation of Nepali currency vis-à-vis US dollar in recent years have increased the project cost to Rs 45 billion from the initial estimate of Rs 35 billion in 2011, according to the project officials.
Although the project was completely disrupted by the earthquake followed by the terai blockade, the project has made a major progress in the last few months. As Nepal Electricity Authority is moving the country with no load shedding, the completion of the project in the earliest time will contribute a lot.
Under the leadership of chief of the project Bigyan Shrestha, Upper Tamakosi, a largest project, is moving ahead to complete the work. If things move as normal, Nepal’s largest hydropower will supply electricity to Nepal’s central greed within one and half years.