Kathmandu: The 456-megawatt Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, Nepal's largest so far, has started generating power, paving the way for the Himalayan nation to become "a power surplus country capable of exporting electricity".
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Monday inaugurated the project, located on the Tamakoshi River in Dolakha district in north-central Nepal, approximately 200 km away from Kathmandu, by pressing a button during a virtual event held at the PM's official residence in Baluwatar.
"This is an historic moment for Nepal. This makes Nepal a power surplus country capable of exporting electricity," said Nepal Electricity Authority Managing Director Hitendra Dev Shakya.
With its inauguration, the first unit (76 MW) of the project came into operation, officials said.
The project consists of six units. The remaining five units will come into operation gradually. The project-generated electricity is connected to the national grid through a 47.2-km transmission line (from Gogara, Dolakha-based power house to Khimti) having 220-KV capacity.
The project, entirely financed from domestic financial institutions and companies, has set a new milestone in the hydropower development of Nepal. It took 11 years to complete the project.
The project was delayed due to various reasons, including the 2015 Nepal earthquake which completely destroyed the access road leading to the project site. Though the primary estimated cost for the project was Rs 3,500 crore, it surged to nearly Rs 8,000 crore.