Kholongchhu project all set to kick off
A clear path for the trouble stricken 1,200MW Punatsangchhu project will be ready within days, which will decide the future of the largest hydroelectric project in the country.
The economic affairs minister, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, who is also the chairman of the project, said that a “holistic” report on the issues related to the dam and sliding has been finalised and is being independently vetted.
“As soon as the on-going Parliament session is over, we will have a clear roadmap for the project,” he said. “We will come to a consensus on what type of dam we will have, what stabilisation measures should be put in place so that this project happens and happen for a long time.”
Sliding of entire slope on the right bank of the project delayed the construction of the dam. So far three major sliding occurred at the project, the first in 2013, another one in August 2016 and a third one last year.
Lyonpo Loknath said that after he became the chairman, he asked for a holistic report. “They were doing in tits and bits. We have the report and will soon receive the independently vetted report,” he said.
The minister was presenting the report on hydropower developments as a follow up to the resolutions of the National Assembly yesterday.
Calling it good news, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma informed the Assembly that by next month, March, the Concessional Agreement of the 600MW Kholongchhu project would be signed soon.
He also informed that major construction works would also be tendered out by next month. “We are short of the last word on an agreement,” the minister told Kuensel on the Concessional Agreement.
“Both the joint venture partners, the Druk Green Power Corporation and SJVNL (India) reached the last stage of discussions on tariff related issues,” he said. “We can say Kholongchhu is ready. We have to decide on the power export modality and costing methodology. Discussions have gone back and forth. The government of India has also agreed and we are pushing forward on tariff related issues.”
The Minister also presented a summary of the Power System Master Plan 2040 to the National Assembly.