As he is successful in ending load shedding from the country, Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kul Man Ghising’s speed of work has not slowed down yet. He has been rushing from one corner of the country to another to overcome the hurdles faced by various ongoing projects.
With the obstruction created by local people in Udayapur, not allowing the authorities to erect the tower for 132 kV double Solu-coridor for months, the completion date is likely to suffer causing huge financial losses to NEA.
With no support from local administration and elected representatives, a small group of people are threatening the NEA's local staff. As he knows this, MD Ghising moved to the site choosing one of the weekend holidays.
At a time when sections of people of various interests have been conspiring against him, MD Ghising has been rushing from one end to another to accelerate the pace of the projects. Whenever there is a call from the district, MD Ghising has to rush.
After travelling and holding discussions with local community in Udayapur to clear the obstruction on 132 kV double circuit transmission line construction, Ghising marched to inspect the construction of Upper Tamakosi site driving almost 300 kilometers of bumpy roads.
As Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun directed NEA's MD and chairperson of Tamakosi Ghising to complete the project by June, the pace of work needs to accelerate.
As the project has already completed 355 meter Upper Vertical shaft and Lower Vertical Shaft, the most complicated and challenging task to install remaining 137 meter lower and 171 meter upper is currently undergoing in pace.
Constructed under national investment, 456 MW Upper Tamakosi is a national priority project which has been delayed due to several reasons including earthquake, Madhesh Agitation, structural change and delay of work by lot 2 contractor Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd. (TEXMACO).
The current pace has drastically improved. Now, it takes seven and five days to install 10-meter long pipes of upper and lower vertical shaft. If things go like in the present without major technical obstruction, the installation of vertical shaft will complete by April 2020.
After this, installation of pen stock pipe will begin in vertical areas between lower and upper tunnel and it will be estimated take one and half months. During his visit, MD Ghising inspected the project and discussed with officials, consultants and all three contractors of the project on their routine for the completion of the project.
Contractors have expressed their determination to complete the work as per their routine. MD of NEA and Upper Tamakosi Hydropower Company Ghising has directed the concerned officials and contractors to work aiming to start generation from at least one unit (76 MW) by 15 May 2020.
Following the completion of the first project, other five remaining units will start generation gradually. "Prime Minister, Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation ministers are seriously concerned about the completion routine. All the concerned involved in the project need to work seriously to start generation of one unit in ongoing fiscal year," said MD Ghising. "We are ready to facilitate, coordinate and extend necessary support to complete the project in a routine manner," said MD Ghising. He said that the lot 2 contractors has significantly improved the performance.
Following the delay of contractor TEXMACO, which is responsible to supply penstock pipe and installation, the responsibility of installation of lower shaft pen stock is given to contractor of lot 3 ANDRITZ HYDRO with consent from lot 2 contractor.
Upper Tamakosi Hydropower Limited, Texmaco and Andritz Hydro signed a tripartite agreement last December to work without additional cost. Although Andritz has been installing lower vertical shaft, Texmaco has been installing upper pen stock on its own.
MD Ghising phoned head of Texmaco requesting to deploy the additional technical staff to complete the project as per the new schedule. A few months ago, secretary of ministry Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, MD Ghising and Chief Executive Officer Bigyan Prasad Shrestha visited head office of Texmaco in Kolkata and met high officials.
According to Bigyan Prasad Shrestha, under the civil work grouting and concretizing in the tunnel is in final stage and the preparation of the installation of gate in audit tunnel is under way. He said that installation of equipment in powerhouse has already completed and the installation of 127 towers of transmission line also completed and 47 kilometer conductors have already been laid.
Similarly, the civil work of 220 kV new Khimti Substation has already reached in the final stage. Shrestha said that the project has been working to complete the remaining work of installation of equipment within four months.
The project was delayed due to earthquake, after shock, disruption by flood and landslide, Madhesh Agitation, problems of transpiration of construction materials due to short supply of energy, design change and weak performance of hydro mechanical contractor.
As spent earlier, official weekend and holiday taking, MD Ghising traveled to Trishuli to inspect two projects. He first visited Nepal's first largest solar project in Devighat and rushed to accelerate the pace of the construction of Nepal's first largest Solar Plant in Debhighat.
Nepal’s First Sola Plant To Generate Electricity
The construction of 25 MW plant, Nepal’s fist Solar Power, is in the final stage. Situated in Debighat Hydropower Plant in Trishuli, the plant will start generation of 15 MW power by April 2020. However, the 10 MW will complete at the end of March.
So far as another 10 MW is concerned; NEA is identifying the location for the plant. The energy generated by the plant will be directly connected to national grid. Since there is no provision of battery, the plant will generate electricity at day time in sunny day.
According to a press release issued by NEA, a new substation of 66/33 is also now under construction. Managing director Kul Man Ghising, Deputy Executive Directors Harraj Neupane and Bajrabhushan Chaudhary inspected the construction sites and discussed the matter related to the problems in the construction.
According to NEA, one panel generates 275 watt there require 20 ropanies of land to install panel to generate 1 MW. During the inspection visit, NEA’s MD Ghising directed concerned officials and contactors to evacuate the power generated by the plant through existing 33 kV transmission line. He said that the construction of new substation is likely to take a few more months adding energy needs evacuation through existing alternative system.
“As demand of energy is growing, there is no question to waste energy,” said Ghising. We still have to face difficulty in electricity management for coming three months. The construction must complete by April,” directed Ghising.
Representatives of the contractors said that all the equipment had already reached the sites and installment of 15 MW will complete by April. The Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation laid the foundation of the project last April aiming to generate electricity by coming April.
MD Ghising said that the project was delayed due to design approval, disputes in cutting trees and other minor issues. He said that it took months to get the clearance to clear the forest in our own land. MD Ghising also said that the contractor delayed the work of preparing design and consultants frequently reviewed the documents to accept the decision. Project chief Bika Bahadur Raghubansi said that the project was delayed because the designer lives in Spain and consultant in Germany and failure to visit the site in time.
The project received 30.8 million dollar form the World Bank under its Grid Solar and Energy Efficiency Program. The project is awarded to Risen Energy Co., Ltd China under design, supply, construction, operation and five year maintenance.
The company will hand over the project in running condition after five years. The contractor has to supply 33 million units of guaranteed electricity annually to NEA.
After the completion of the project, it will help to fulfill scarcity of energy during the winter. Since the project is close to load center Kathmandu, the project supports strengthening the electricity system and make it reliable.
The plant also helps to increase the reserve water in peaking power projects like Kaligandaki A, Middle Marsyangdi and Chilime to operate in the evening.
Chilime Trisuli Transmission Line
After taking stock of solar project and giving direction, MD Ghising marched to project office of Trishuli 3 B Hub station, Kispang Rural Municipality ward 5 Pahirobesi.
Although the contractor agreed to complete the project on 13 March 2020, the construction of 27-kilometer Chilime-Trishuli 220 kV double circuit Transmission Line Project and four circuit Trishuli B Hub project is far from complete. Situated in a difficult terrain of the region, contractor Pinggao Group of Companies China is late in meeting the deadline.
According to project chief Shubharambh Vikram Shah, out of 78 tours, the construction of basement of 8 tours has completed and 40 basements are under construction and the remaining are in the process preparing the basement.
Passing through a stiff cliff of mountain with no accessibility of transport, the project is said to be one of the most difficult transmission line project. However, the project is the lifeline to 600 MW projects which are now under construction.
As the work of 111 MW Rashuwagadhi, 42.5 MW Sanjen and 14.8 upper Sanjen are in the final stages of generating electricity, the completion of the project is a prerequisite. Spending a whole day in the project site, MD Ghising directed the contractor to accelerate the pace and complete the project by time.
In his hectic visit, MD Ghising also inspected some of the project sites and directed contactor to increase the work force to accelerate the work. The contractor agreed to increase the workforce up to 400 in transmission sites, 130 to Chilime and 250 in Trishuli 3 B Hub. In return, MD agreed to settle the issues of financial crunch of contractor releasing the amount in time.
After consultation, the contactor agreed to complete the project by August 2020. As many transmission line projects are facing local obstruction, delay in construction, MD Ghising's site inspections is generating the results. However, Ghising has to sacrifice all his personal matter as he is rushing to make impossible thing possible.