The 220kv substation at Dhamdum in Samtse, which became operational in April last year, has become a boon for the dzongkhag.

It has not only replaced power import in gewogs like Tashichholing (Sipsu), Tendu, and Norgaygang (Bara) but also increased the power reliability in the dzongkhag.

Prior to commissioning of the substation, these three gewogs in Samtse were importing electricity from the neighbouring town of Jaldaka, India.

The substation installed to serve the Dhamdum Industrial Park (DIP) in Samtse was completed with a budget of Nu 410.317 million (M).

The Damdum substation construction started early 2013 and it was scheduled to be completed in September 2014. However, the construction was completed in November 2015, and it has been operational since April 2016.

The substation, which has a capacity of 500 megawatts (MW), has been limited to just about 100MW.

Bhutan Power Corporation’s (BPC), senior manager of electricity services division (ESD), Chipchu Dukpa, said that the substation has brought immense benefit to the dzongkhag.

“There was no high voltage power before this substation was commissioned,” the manager said, adding that Samtse was being fed by a 33kv line in Gomtu and the dzongkhag would face power black outs if the supply was disrupted in Gomtu.

He also said Samtse imported electricity from Banarhaat, India, whenever there was power shortages. “Importing from these towns of India could also be minimised as there are two domestic options left.”

He said that importing from India should only be an option if the power is cut from both the Dhamdum substation and Gomtu.

At present, Tashichholing is connected with a 33kv line from the Dhamdum substation. However, it also has provision for 66kv and could be upgraded whenever required.

Chipchu Dukpa said once the industrial park in Dhamdum is ready for operation, the park would require taking high voltage 66kv connections. “The park would have to plant its own substation.”

“A team has already come and surveyed the area to construct a substation for the industrial park,” he said.

Rajesh Rai | Samtse