140 MW Tanahun Hydropower Project Has Seen A Break Through Of Headrace Tunnel

140 MW Tanahun Hydropower Project Has Seen A Break Through Of Headrace Tunnel

April 1, 2024, 10:09 a.m.

The under-construction 140-megawatt Tanahun Hydroelectricity Project witnessed a breakthrough in its headrace tunnel. The reservoir-based project utilizes water from the Seti River, flowing along the border of Rhishing Rural Municipality and Byas Municipality-5 in Tanahun.

Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation Secretary Gopal Prasad Sigdel and Kul Man Ghising, Managing Director of Nepal Electricity Authority and Chairman of Tanahun Hydropower Ltd jointly detonated the switch to activate the tunnel.

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The tunnel is part of Package 2 of the project and spans 1,493 meters from its intake point. It has a diameter of 7.4 meters and will be lined with concrete. The water will flow through the tunnel and be collected in an underground powerhouse via a 213-meter pen stock.

During the tunnel breakthrough ceremony, Secretary of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation, Sigdel, expressed satisfaction with the progress of the reservoir project, which is being built after a long gap. Sigdel urged all involved parties to complete the main dam construction on time.

The experience gained from reservoir projects like Kulekhani provides guidance and confidence to develop similar projects such as Dudhkoshi, Nalgarh, and Budhigandaki.

Ghising, the Managing Director of the NEA, emphasized the importance of completing the project on time and called on all parties involved to take responsibility.

He noted that the major milestones of the project have already been achieved, including the diversion of the river for the construction of the main dam and the breaking of the main tunnel. In order to complete the project on time, the responsibility for speeding up the construction of the dam lies with the project management, consultants and construction professionals.

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He said that the construction of the 126 MW Lower Seti Hydroelectric Project, which will be developed in the lower area by using the flow and water of the Madi River that will be obtained after the power generation from the project, will be taken up soon.

Kiran Kumar Shrestha, Managing Director of Tanahun Hydropower Ltd, the project promoter, and Shyamji Bhandari, Acting Project Manager, briefed the audience on the progress of the project and the problems faced.

Dividing the main structures into three packages, the overall physical progress of the project under construction is 54 percent. The entire construction is scheduled to be completed by May 2026.

Under Package-1, the excavation of the foundations for the construction of the main dam and the construction of a 40-meter-high temporary cofferdam to divert the river during the dam construction are in full swing.

Work is being carried out with the aim of completing the excavation of the foundation within the dam site in the second week of June, and starting the construction of the foundation of the main dam in July. Overall physical progress on Package 1 is 29 percent. Song Da Corporation, Vietnam-Kalika Construction Ltd JV. for the construction of the 140 meter high dam under Package-1.

Sino Hydro Corporation, China is doing the construction of Package-2, including the project tunnel, powerhouse construction and supply, installation and operation of hydromechanical and electromechanical equipment.

After the completion of the excavation of the underground power plant, the construction of the concrete switchyard, installation of penstocks and equipment in the power plant is being carried out. Construction of the tailrace has been completed. The total physical progress of this package is about 55 percent.

Under Package-3, KEC International of India is constructing a 34.7 km 220 kV double circuit transmission line from Damauli to Bharatpur in Chitwan. KEC International Limited, India is doing it.

Of the 94 towers on the transmission line, the foundations of 76 towers have been laid and 62 towers have been erected. The overall construction progress of this package is 72 percent.

Under the social development program of the project, the Tanahun Rural Electrification and Distribution System Strengthening Project has been completed by the Project Management Directorate of Nepal Electricity Authority for electrification of Tanahun District.

Under this project, two substations of 33-11 kV were constructed and commissioned in Ghiring Rural Municipality-4 and Bandipur Rural Municipality-6 for local power supply.

A 33 kV line has been constructed to supply electricity to the said substations. In order to provide sufficient, reliable and quality power supply to Tanahun district, distribution transformers of different capacities were installed at different locations and 11 kV lines were constructed.

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Under the community development program, 56 projects including education, health, drinking water, roads, river embankment construction, etc. have been completed in the project areas. Seven projects are under construction.

Various skill-based trainings have been conducted to improve the livelihood and income of the project-affected people.

The total estimated cost of the project is $505 million, with funding from various sources, including $150 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), $184 million from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), $85 million from the European Investment Bank, and $86 million from the Nepalese government/NEA.

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