Priority clearance for Bunakha reservoir scheme

This was revealed in the MoEA’s draft annual performance agreement

Hydropower: The Bunakha reservoir scheme, which will generate 180MW of electricity, and augment the generation of Tala and Chukha downstream, is to be cleared for implementation within the next financial year.

In its draft annual performance agreement, the economic affairs ministry plans to clear at least one joint venture project for implementation among the three identified – Bunakha, Chamkharchu-I and Wangchu.

During a coordination meeting between the ministries and dzongkhags on March 12, the economic affairs’ joint secretary, Sonam P Wangdi, said the Bunakha reservoir would be prioritised among the three.

With an estimated cost of Nu 29.5B (billion), the project would be undertaken as a joint venture between the two public sector companies – Druk Green Power corporation (DGPC) and Tehri Hydro Development corporation limited (THDC), India – with an equity shareholding of 50 percent each.

The reservoir’s powerhouse would be built at the toe of the largest dam in the country.  It would stand 197m tall, almost the height of a 66-storied building.

The reservoir would be capable of storing 250 million cubic metres of water during monsoon for use in the lean season.  This would bring an additional generation of 106MW, in the downstream projects.

For the Nikachu project, all initial infrastructure facilities would be completed, and 25 percent of all civil works, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical components would be laid within the next fiscal year, according to the agreement.

Contracts for pre-construction facilities, as per the agreement, would be awarded for the Kholongchu project.

As for the ongoing inter-governmental projects, the ministry aims to have 84 percent of works completed for Punatsangchu-I and 76 percent of Punatsangchu-II project.

However, by the end of the 11th Plan, Punatshangchu-II would be completed, and Punatsangchu-I would near completion, if things go as per the agreement.

The 720 MW Mangdechu project is also scheduled to complete about 77 percent of the works.

The ministry, as per its performance agreement, also plans to conduct pre-feasibility studies for 10 projects in the upcoming fiscal year, and complete the detailed project report for Rotpashong project.

Meanwhile, the 660KW wind power project will also be completed by next fiscal year, according to the draft performance agreement.

By Tshering Dorji

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