After a series of deadlines missed, the first Bhutanese managed project is commissioned

Hydropower: The 126 MW Dagachu hydro power project (DHPP) is now fully commissioned, with the second 63MW (megawatt) unit test on March 15.

The first test was conducted on February 20.

The national load dispatch centre (NLDC) has confirmed the operation date to the eastern regional load dispatch centre in Kolkata (ERLDC) and the Indian national load dispatch centre in Delhi.

After a three-month delay, the project faced a cost escalation of at least Nu 160M (million).

The project which started in October 2009 was supposed to be up and running by August 2013.  However, work was delayed by a year because of geological conditions and breaching of a temporary dam at the dam-site in 2011.

The project could not fulfill the new completion deadline of May 31, 2014 due to the collapse of the 20m head race tunnel in January this year.  Thus, the project was scheduled to be commissioned in May 2014, but had to be rescheduled.

The project was further delayed because of the problem with the 10m gravel trap section in October last year.

DHPP is the first hydropower project to be managed by a Bhutanese team with a review consultant from Austria.

Hindustan Construction company was the civil works contractor, and a consortium of Andritz Hydro and Alstom from Austria was the electro-mechanical contractor of the project.

By Yeshey Dema, Tsirang