Coinciding with the golden jubilee anniversary celebrations of formal diplomatic relations between Bhutan and India, the Chumey Mini Hydropower Plant in Bumthang was re-commissioned yesterday.
HRH Gyaltshab Jigme Dorji Wangchuck graced the event, a press release from Bhutan Power Corporation states.
The Chumey Mini Hydropower Plant was first commissioned on December 14, 1989 by Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Vinod C Khanna, (1989-1991). The hydropower plant catered to the electricity requirement of Bumthang and Trongsa before the grid connection reached the region.
The plant had an installed capacity of 1500 kW (three machines with machine capacity of 500 kW each) and was constructed by the Central Water Commission India with GoI funding.
The plant was running until 2013 but have to be rehabilitated after the machines started breaking down frequently, the press release states.
On December 23, 2016, works to rehabilitate and upgrade the plant was contracted through bidding to Erhard Automation, Austria at USD 2.431 million. The 24 months project was funded by BPC and completed in February 2018 as scheduled. The capacity of the power plant has been upgraded to 1737 kW.
Besides being a renewable energy source, the rehabilitated hydropower plant will improve energy reliability and the system in the area will be more resilient to future unforeseen circumstances, such as major interruption in the supply of power.