The construction of the 7,126-metre-long tunnel of the 102-megawatt capacity Madhya Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project in Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality and Bahrabise Municipality of Sindhupalchowk district has been completed.
Umesh Parajuli, the senior civil engineer of the project, informed that the construction work of the tunnel with a length of 7,126 meters and a diameter of 5.7 meters was completed on Thursday. He said that now the work of making slopes in the tunnel had started.
The dam area of the project is located in Bhotekoshi Rural Municipality-1 and the powerhouse in Barhabise Municipality-5.
The average annual production of the project is estimated at 542.3 million units. A power purchase agreement (PPA) between the Nepal Electricity Authority and Madhya Bhotekoshi Hydropower Company Limited was signed on November 14, 2011.
The company had signed a loan agreement with the Employees Provident Fund on December 8, 2011, for the project under construction with 50 percent equity and 50 percent loan investment. Tractebel Engineering of Germany is the consultant for the project. The three construction companies, Guangxi Hydro Electric Construction Bureau, China for civil and hydro-mechanical, Andritz Hydro Pvt. Ltd., India for electro-mechanical, and Energy AC JV for 220 kV transmission lines are working on the project.
The test tunnel and diversion tunnel of the project were completed by Himal Hydro Construction Limited.
The total investment of the project, which started on January 1, 2014, including modification, is Rs. 14.83 billion. About 97 percent of the civil work towards the dam area of the tunnel has been completed. Engineer Parajuli said that the hydromechanical works are going on at a fast pace.
The construction of the main civil structures towards the powerhouse has been completed and the electro-mechanical works are going on at a fast pace. The construction of the tower under the transmission line construction works is also underway.
Similarly, the works of the vertical shaft, surge tank, and other structures are in the process of completion. Since the progress of the whole project is above 85 percent, it is estimated that if the construction work continues at this pace, electricity production will start in about a year.
The works of the project, in which the local people have also invested, have not progressed for a long time due to various reasons. The construction work has gained momentum during the last year.
Engineer Parajuli informed that there is positive support from the local level to complete the work as soon as possible with the investment in the shares of the local residents.
As per the share structure of the company, 37 percent of Chilime Hydropower Company Limited, 10 percent of Nepal Electricity Authority, and 1 percent share investment each of Nepal Araniko Hydropower Company, Sindhu Investment, Sindhupalchok Hydropower Company, Sindhu Bhotekoshi Hydropower and employees of the Employees' Provident Fund have made an investment in the project.
Similarly, 3.5 percent of shares have been allocated to the employees of the founding shareholder organization, 19.5 percent of the contributors of EPF, and 10 percent of the local residents of the project-affected Sindhupalchowk district, and 15 percent of the general public.