Earthquake, Landslides and Supply Disruptions Escalate the Cost of Upper Tamakosi Reaching Rs.70 billion

Earthquake, Landslides and Supply Disruptions Escalate the Cost of Upper Tamakosi Reaching Rs.70 billion

March 24, 2019, 8:04 p.m.

After achieving major breakthrough dispatching all penstock pipes in the project sites, Ministry of Energy and Nepal Electricity Authority's officials have announced to complete the 456 MW Upper Tamakosi Project before December 31, 2019.

Earthquake, landslides and supply disruptions not only delayed the project but also escalated the Cost of Upper Tamakosi Reaching Rs.70 billion. Initially, the project cost with Interest during Construction (IDC) was estimated to be 48.26 billion. However, now the cost of the project reaches with IDC is estimated to be Rs.69.59 billion.

The project has faced cost overruns due to delays cause by natural disasters like earthquake and supply disruption and some design change.

Interestingly, the project secured Rs. 31 billion loan and paid Rs.20 billion interest. The estimated cost of the projects was set 35.29 billion except interest rate during the construction period. The fluctuation of US dollar also escalates the cost. During the project inception, there was one dollar equivalent Rs. 97.6 and now it is almost Rs. 114 per dollar.

Now the revised estimated cost of the construction of project Rs.49.29 billion (Except of Interest). The interest of construction period will be 19.84 billion.

The project has already dispersed Rs.44.07 billion. The project has loss Rs.7 and 5 billion due to fluctuation in dollar. The cost escalates because of earthquake, destruction of tunnel roads and redesign of tunnel and dam. The project has constructed 360 meter tunnel roads to reach dam sites from Gonger.

For the project Employee Provident Fund contributed Rs.10 billion, Nepal Telecom 10 Billion, Citizenship Investment Fund and Nepal Telecom and Insurance Company invested 2 billion each. Nepal government has invested 11.08 billion remaining.

According to MD Ghising, the government agencies have charging more interest than the private sector with over 11 percent. In every three months, the decide compound interest rate.

Chief Executive Officer Bigyan Prasad Shrestha said that the earthquake, damage by landslides, disruption of supply of petroleum products, construction materials, due to Madhesh Agitation, change of design, weakness of hydro mechanical contractor of lot 2 have delayed the project.

Although the project supposed to complete in 2073/074, it has already revised the completion of date with 2075-076 but it was delayed due to contractor of lot 2. Now, the project is undergoing its work to generate the electricity by December 31, 2019 operation of one 76 MW Unit.

With the recent visit of Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun, NEA'S Managing Director Kul Man Ghising at Gonger, Ministry directed to hold a high-level meeting every month in the project site to review the progress.

MD of NEA and chairman of Upper Tamakosi Hydropower Ltd Kul Man Ghising will chair a review meeting with management of the project, contractor companies and consultant monthly. The meeting will review the progress of the project and solve problems surfaced in the process of construction.

Minister of Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation Barshaman Pun directed concerned authorities to complete the construction of 456 MW Upper Tamakosi by December.

Spokesperson of the project Dr. Ganesh Prasad Neupane told Gorkhapatra daily that the pipes were stored in Sunkoshi Power House in Sindhupalchwok for long period.

Out of 732 meter, Texamo has been going itself. Installation of turbine, generator has already completed in underground power generation house. Similarly, the progress of concrete at dam site and concrete lining at main tunnel is 99.6 and 53, 5 percent respectively. Transmission line construction has almost to complete with 85 percent progress.

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