With the completion of the contract agreements, the process of Nepal’s second storage hydropower project is now on the move. However, it has taken almost three decades to see the construction of the storage project in the country after the completion of Kulekhani Project, the first such project in Nepal.
After a tedious, year-long, process of selections and formalities, Tanahu Hydropower Ltd (THL)’s managing director Pradeep Kumar Thike finally inked the contract agreements with two contractors chosen under the basis of an international bidding.
At a time when Nepal is facing a huge shortage of power during the peaking hours, relying mostly on imported power and Kulekhani, the completion of 140 MW Tanahu Hydropower Project will be a game changer.
This is the reason current Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kul Man Ghising, who paved the way to make Nepal load-shedding free, has spared no time to push this project from the first day of his appointment.
Interestingly, Japan government took the initiative to construct the first storage project in Kulekhani. For the second storage project, Japan is the leading contributor followed by Asian Development Bank.
Had not managing director Thike taken the strong efforts, the project would not have reached the present state. When he was transferred to the Tanahu Hydropower Ltd to lead the company, nothing was moving. He took the initiative and finally made it possible to finalize the agreement.
Tanahu Hydropower Ltd (THL) has signed contract agreements with main construction companies amid a function. With a capacity of 140 MW, Tanahu Hydropower will be the largest reservoir project after completion.
Under the first package, Italian Company Cooperative Muratori & Cementisti is awarded the contract for civil works, including Dam and Coffer Dam. Managing Director of Tanahu Hydropower Ltd Pradeep Kumar Thike and representative of CMC Salvatore Casciare signed the contract agreement. CMC was chosen on the ground of being the lowest bidder. The amount of the agreement is Rs.20.65 billion.
Under the second package, Tanahu Hydro Ltd (THL) also signed a contract agreement with Sinohydro Corporation Limited for powerhouse and water ways related equipment.
On behalf of THL, Managing director Thike and Chen Xuexiang, representative of Sino hydro, signed two agreements worth of 111.41 million dollar and another 3.83 billion rupees contract excluding VAT under second package.
According to a press release issued by THL, the construction work will start within two months and complete by 2023.
Addressing the signing ceremony, managing director Thike said that Tanahu Hydropower project is the first project constructed after Kulekhani and it will immensely help in load management. He requested contractors to complete the project before schedule. He also said that THL and high representatives of contractors are planning to show their commitments to complete the project in time.
Representatives of the contractors expressed their commitment to complete the project before schedule. For the third phase which includes the construction of 220 kV double circuit transmission line, the evaluation of tender is under way. Nepal Electricity Authority and THL have already signed Power Purchasing Agreement.
The construction of staff quarter and office in Tanahu Rising Rural Municipality is in final stage. About 95 percent of land acquisition work in reservoir site has already completed.
The process for land acquisition for access road to dam site and construction of quarter for laborers is currently going in Byas Municipality.
With the total cost of $ 500.50 million, which includes the transmission line, rural electrification and interest of construction period, the main financiers of the project include Asian Development Bank $ 150 million, JICA $184 million and European Investment Bank $ 85 million. Nepal government and NEA will also bear the $87 million cost of the project.
Although the construction of the project is going to start in January 2019, this is the first major project in the Gandak Province to contribute immensely to provincial as well as national economy. The activities of such a big scale will also contribute to the local economy.