Milestones reached for Burgangchhu, Suchhu, and Yungichhu Projects

Progress made, challenges faced, and community initiatives in focus

The Burgangchhu, Suchhu, and Yungichhu hydropower projects have achieved remarkable physical progress, bringing them closer to their respective goals. The three hydropower projects have made significant strides towards completion.

Burgangchhu HEP (54MW)

The 54MW Burgangchhu hydropower project, which is located near Buli village in Nangkor Gewog, completed its overall physical progress of 33.52% as of November this year. The achievements include the completion of the diversion dyke construction for the intake. Additionally, ongoing efforts include concreting for the intake, approach canal, weir, undersluice, and desilting chamber.

In the Head Race Tunnel, 243.50m has been excavated from the inlet portal, while 139.5m has been excavated from the outlet portal, showing considerable progress towards the total excavation of 476.415m. Moreover, 90% of the trenching for the surface penstock has been completed.

Additionally, the project also completed the earth mat and TRC laying, along with ongoing slope stabilization and benching work for the switchyard platform. The construction is being spearheaded by the Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL).

An official from the Druk Hydro Energy Limited (DHyE) said that the civil works for the projects have accumulated costs of approximately Nu 400 million. The cost incured for electrical and mechanical components will be available from the Head, Electrical and Mechanical Division, and Gelephu.

The projects have made valuable contributions to the community. These include improved road infrastructure, such as the Dakpia-Buli road and the road from Jsho junction to the Powerhouse take-off point, is funded through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget.

“It also enhanced accessibility for transportation of timber used in local house construction and provision of rented houses in the community for BHPP staff and some family members of CDCL,” the official said.

The official also said that the maintenance and improvement of water supply for Buli village through the CSR budget and project visitors are enjoying a community-based “home stay” experience.

Further, employment opportunity is open for the local villagers as part of the CDCL workforce and utilization of vehicles sourced exclusively from the Nangkhor Gewog, including tippers and light vehicles.

However, the official said that the projects faced geological surprises with water ingress during tunnel works, requiring additional measures for mitigation.

Suchhu Small HEP (18MW)

Another hydropower power, which is located in Haa district, the 18MW Suchhu Small Hydropower Project has achieved impressive overall physical progress of 45.78% as of November. Excavation trench weir and reinforcement laying for the desilting chamber are currently in full swing at the intake. In the Head Race Tunnel & Pipe, trenching progress stands at 376m out of the total 3556m, while excavation efforts have completed in 619.2m from the inlet portal and 256.84m from the outlet portal.

Further, the trenching and the construction of three anchor blocks for the surge tube, as well as the trenching and construction of seven out of nine anchor blocks for the penstock has been completed. Notably, the powerhouse has witnessed the laying of reinforcement and concreting for the powerhouse raft and ongoing slope stabilization work. The excavation of the switchyard has been successfully completed.

Yungichhu HEP (32MW)

The Yungichhu hydropower project has achieved an overall physical progress of 34.97% as of November this year. Work is in full swing at the intake, with concreting and excavation efforts at the headwork. In the Head Race Tunnel & Pipe, trenching stands at 58m out of a total of 3539m, while excavation from the inlet portal is at 113.6m out of 1184m and at 1125.5m out of 1500m from the outlet portal.

The surge shaft has seen 48m of top-down excavation completed, and 766m of surface penstock trenching has been accomplished. The Drop shaft progress showcases 39m of top-down excavation out of a total of 75.5m. The powerhouse exhibits significant development, including the completion of the lower horizontal pressure tunnel, powerhouse excavation, and slope stabilization works.

Nidup Lhamo & Sangay Rabten from Bhutan