The company plans to employ up to 500 in the next three years

Hydropower: In its first hydropower related activity, the Construction Development Corporation Ltd (CDCL) recently recruited 27 Bhutanese with experience in hydropower project works.

“We have recruited 27 Bhutanese including a geologist, engineers, surveyors, operators and technicians,” CDCL Department of Hydropower Services (DHS) general manager, Karma Gayley said.

“This is the initial set of recruitment enough to take up the preliminary tunneling works like adits.” An adit is a horizontal passage leading into a tunnel.

Each of the recruits has a minimum of three years experience.

“Operators are ready to operate with working experience without requiring training,” Karma Gayley said.

But CDCL will be recruiting more when it starts getting the hydropower works in coming years.

“In total we would be able to recruit around 500 people in the next three years during the peak construction period,” Karma Gayley said.

CDCL CEO Phuntsho Gyeltshen said the company is gearing up in terms of preparation for its hydropower works.

“In the process we are recruiting some of the key people,” Phuntsho Gyeltshen said.

CDCL will be the first Bhutanese construction company to embark on hydropower project construction works. As of now, CDCL was focusing mainly on construction of infrastructures such as roads and bridges.

But it is now venturing into hydropower construction, which is one of its mandates. If possible, CDCL is also planning to set up a hydropower construction team made up solely of Bhutanese.

CDCL is in preparatory stages to take up hydropower construction works. It is attempting to get tunneling works in any of the hydropower projects in the country. The recent recruitment, which was completed on April 4, is for its first tunneling project.

As of now CDCL has recruited 27 Bhutanese who have worked in mega hydropower projects such as the Punatsangchhu I and II, and Mangdechhu hydropower projects. Eight employees from its engineering section were also transferred to DHS.

The 27 recruits include a geologist, an electrical engineer, a surveyor and five civil engineers.  Eight operators for rock drilling and shotcrete machines and dump loaders have also been recruited. Rest of the recruitment includes technicians, welders, supervisors, and lab assistants.

“We have asked them to join from May 1,” Karma Gayley said.

The new recruits will be given an orientation. Following the orientation everyone will be sent on field attachments to ongoing hydropower projects such as Punatsangchhu and Mangdechhu.

“All of them will be sent for about three months field attachment,” Karma Gayley said.

“In the field attachment they will work as part of the construction company to get direct hands-on field experience.”

CDCL will recruit the remaining labour force after it has signed its first tunneling contract works with any of the upcoming hydropower projects.

“We will employ additional labour as and when contracts are signed with hydropower projects,” Karma Gayley said.

While CDCL is targeting its first tunnelling work in Kholongchhu hydropower project, if the on-going preliminary talks come through, it is also likely to get the construction work of Druk Bindu hydropower plant.

In the Nyera Ama hydroelectric project, CDCL will take up drifting works at Thrimshing, Gomdar and Martshala.

Of the 500 to be recruited, 200 each will be employed for works in the Kholongchhu hydropower project and the Nyera Ama hydroelectric project. Over 60 will be recruited on daily wages for Nyera Ama hydroelectric project when the actual works begin.

“It’s only a matter of time, as and when we get the projects the number of employment and absorption will shoot up,” Phuntsho Gyeltshen said.

But as of now, no recruitments are being done for the Druk Bindu hydropower plant.

For the Nyera Ama hydroelectric project, CDCL has already trained key personnel from its existing manpower.

“Drillers, technicians and blasters were already readied from before,” Karma Gayley said.

Tempa Wangdi