MHPA to be commissioned by Oct-Nov this year

Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA) is scheduled to be commissioned by October-November this year coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebration of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India.

The 720-MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project, a run-of-the-river scheme located in central Bhutan is one of the 10 hydroelectric projects under the 10,000 MW hydropower initiative, developed by the Royal Government of Bhutan with financial and technical assistance from the Government of India (GoI). The project commenced its construction on August 2010.

The minister of economic affairs, Lekey Dorji told Business Bhutan that as of January 31 this year, the project has achieved 92.52% physical progress.

Lyonpo Lekey Dorji said that the construction of major components of the projects will be completed by June or July this year.

“The testing and commissioning, after plugging of the diversion tunnel, is scheduled in October or November this year,” said Lyonpo Lekey Dorji.

However, he said that the project was initially scheduled for commissioning by September 2017 but was delayed due to various technicalities including the inability to plug the diversion tunnel during the high inflow period and the contractual challenges faced by the contractors.

The project will generate 2,925.25 million units of electricity annually.

The revised cost estimate of the project was recently approved by GoI at Nu 46,723.86mn in October 2017.

Lyonpo Lekey Dorji also said that the cost of completion is currently being assessed and will be finalized after completion of the project and upon closure of all contracts.

The two Governments have already constituted a committee for the export tariff negotiations, which is expected to be decided in the first round of meeting to be held soon. The tariff negotiations will be guided by the Mangdechhu Bilateral Agreement signed on April 30, 2010.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu