Hydropower: In the next two years, the Bhutan Hydropower Service Limited (BHSL) will manufacture hydro-mechanical components.

The deal was sealed with Druk Green Power Corporation Ltd (DGPCL) and GE-Alstom, a multinational energy company entering into a Memorandum of Understanding on May 19 in New Delhi.

The managing director of the DGPCL, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said the expansion of BHSL into a manufacturing plant will happen with a fresh injection of some Nu 300 million in addition to the initial investment of a little over Nu 1.2 billion.

He said that the company will cater to the hydro-mechanical component requirement within the country at the initial stage.

In future, he said the company plans to achieve excellence in hydropower services reaching to the international and regional markets.

It is also expected to support the country’s economy by addressing the current account deficit to some extent. Today, a major chunk of the country’s import is attributed to construction of hydropower projects and a huge amount is spent on importing hydro-mechanical equipment.

Should the new venture of the BHSL materialise, the country would save on imports while earning foreign currencies. It is also expected to generate more jobs in the economy.

Currently, BHSL is the one-stop hydropower service centre for reclamation of underwater components of hydropower projects in the region with DGPCL holding a 51 percent share and GE-Alstom holding the other 49 percent.

While GE-Alstom helped set up this modern facility and provided the initial technical back-stopping, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said today it is managed and operated by a team of a little over 80 trained Bhutanese engineers and technicians.

Since its establishment in October 2014, BHSL, officials said, has helped hydropower plants by cutting maintenance cost and time. Manufacturing the equipment within Bhutan is also expected to smoothen the implementation of future projects in Bhutan.

Today BHSL is involved in reclamation of hydro runners and its associated components with hard coating, which was previously done in other neighbouring countries.

The centre has maximum capacity to reclaim 17 hydro runners per year.

Tshering Dorji