The subsidiary of the DGPC will be undertaken as a JV project

The Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) is planning to institute another joint venture company with an internationally renowned company to develop control systems.

The Prime Minister said that when he visited the Basochhu hydropower plant six months ago, the plant was considering to upgrade its control system, which would cost about Nu 50M.

He asked the DGPC management to explore developing the control system in-house.

The control system used in the hydropower projects and industries, often called supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), is a computer system for gathering and analysing real time data and is used to monitor and control a plant or equipment.

While it may be too late for Basochhu, it was learnt that other power plants like Tala, Chhukha and Kurichhu also needed upgrading control systems. The upgrade was necessary as the current system was built long time back and is run on Windows XP, which is now outdated.

Lyonchhen said that if the long-term goal of developing SCADA in-house is considered, hydropower plants in future would be run by locally-developed control system. Since the same control system is used in industries, he said the scope is plenty.

“There is no reason why we cannot do it. If we don’t have expertise, hire experts to work with Bhutanese company and develop local expertise,” he said.

The country, he said, would hopefully export this system and develop other sophisticated software for export.

In his state of the nation report, the Prime Minister said that this joint venture project company will kick off as a subsidiary of the DGPC.

The software of Tala alone is expected to cost Nu 500M. SCADA upgrade, if done locally, would be achieved within Nu 200M.

With Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) beginning to take up tunneling works, this would be another step for DGPC to promote Bhutan as a center of excellence in hydropower.

CDCL has long-term plans to specialise in civil works for hydropower, including the dam construction.

Bhutan Hydropower Services Limited (BHSL), another subsidiary of DGPC taken up as a JV project with ALSTOM, France commenced it operation in October 2014. BHSL has taken up repair and reclamation of hydro runners and allied underwater components, and provide other mechanical and electrical repair services. Welding, fabrication, hard coating and mechanical material testing facilities are provided for underwater equipment including turbines.

DGPC claimed that BHSL has helped bring down the repair, maintenance and transportation cost of turbines.

Tshering Dorji