At a time when the country’s major development projects failed to start construction following lockdown, Nepal Electricity Authority has shown a way to start the work and complete the project in time.
Despite the lockdown announced by the government, the construction work is 400-200 kV Dhalkebar Substation continues without any obstruction aiming to complete by the middle of July.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus and provide safety to the workers, the project has been strictly following safety guidelines issued by the government. Under the guidelines, the project is maintaining social distancing, masks and other safety measures. With the coordination of district administration and the local level, the project is now at the final stage.
Constructed under the gas-insulated system (GIS) for the aim of electric trade with India and distribution in the country, this is the largest substation of Nepal with 400 kV systems.
Currently, about 80 technicians from India, China and Nepal are working to complete the physical parts of construction, installation of equipment and trial.
Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority Kul Man Ghising informed that the work is now going on to complete the project by the middle of June.
“ During the last December and January, deteriorating weather of terai affected the project. After this spread of coronavirus halted the arrival of Chinese technicians and now the lockdown has affected the work. Now work is on following the strict security measures,” said Ghising.
He said that the equipment imported from China stranded in Kolkata port has already arrived in substation sites. ‘With the coordination with all the agencies, we are able to bring the equipment to the site. Now the installation is going on,” said MD Ghsing. They arrived a week ago from Kolkata.
With the facilitation of secretary of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, who requested his Indian counterpart to facilitated clear Nepalese equipment, nine trucks loaded with the imported equipment arrived in Nepal.
Since the equipment is imported from China, all Chinese technicians came to Nepal before the lockdown. Although an Indian Engineer, who should require making a trial of the equipment, is unable to come to the site due to lockdown, the initiative is on to work through the remote.
There are 3 power transformers with 315 MVA with a total capacity of 945 MVA. These transformers can transmit 900 MW. MD Ghising said if all there are not charged, two transferors will be charged till the middle of June.
After the charge of this substation, Nepal and India can export and import up to 1000 MW electricity. This will also pave the way to supply electricity generated by 456 MW Upper Tamakosi to the national grid and to export to India in case of surplus energy in Nepal.
This is a key substation to channel the electricity to the east and west national grid evacuated from 456 MW Upper Tamkosi through a 220 kV Transmission line. This will also help to export surplus energy to India. Nepal also imports up to 600 MW energy Nepal and establish an energy bank between the two countries.
Currently, Dhalkebar-Mujafarpur 220 kV is under operation. Following the completion of the project, this will increase 400 kV. The current Policies and Program has also announced to complete the project within the next fiscal year.
Indian construction company ABB is awarded contract work and Nepali company NEA Engineering. NEA and the Nepal government has invested Rs.2 billion to construct substation.
Similarly, NEA is also constructing 400-200 kV substations in Hetauda and Sunsari.
After successfully making arrangements to continue the construction work of 456 MW Upper Tamakosi project targeting to complete in time, NEA has made another major breakthrough in the Transmission project. Even medium-sized projects like Trishuli 3 B project have already started the construction.