Hydropower: Preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the 422 MW Nyera Amari hydroelectric projects (NAHP) – I & II that are located in Trashigang and Samdrupjongkhar dzongkhags is in full swing.

Estimated to cost Nu 365 million for the preparation, the DPR is expected to complete towards the end of 2017.

The Department of Hydropower and Power Systems (DHPS) had done the Pre-Feasibility Studies (PFS) for a number of potential hydroelectric projects. Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) was directed by the government to undertake the PFS for the Gamri-I & II projects and the NAHP-I & II projects.

After the completion of PFS reports, DHPS undertook a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) of these hydroelectric projects and submitted their recommendations to the government.

Based on the MCA ratings that incorporate technical, financial, environmental, social and other such considerations, the government had approved the preparation of the DPR for the 590 MW Chamkharchu-II and the 442 MW NAHP projects.

Managing Director of DGPC, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said the government recently entrusted them with the initiation of the DPR.

“Once a project is taken up for preparation of a DPR, it is almost certain that the project would be moved to the implementation stage depending on availability of funds,” he said. “The government approval requires DGPC to also undertake the project structuring for development. “

The NAHP is to be developed in two stages, the 125 MW NAHP-I and the 315 MW NAHP-II. These two stages of the project lie entirely along the left bank of the Nyera Amari.

“The major components of the projects – the dams and the power houses – are located in areas where there are little or no settlements. There would also be very limited impact on the environment,” Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said.

However, he said expectations are that the two stages of the projects would bring about immense socio-economic development to the area as the stretch of the river, where the two stages of the project are located, has a number of large villages.

While one of the powerhouses would be located near Gomdar, the second stage powerhouse would be located near Martshala.

“Whether the two stages of the project would be developed in a phased manner or otherwise will depend on the availability of funds,” Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said. “However, both stages are likely to be developed together considering the technical and financial viability of the projects.”

He added that the Asian Development Bank has shown interest to lead the structuring of the financing arrangement for the NAHP-I & II projects.

“The details of the financial structuring would have to be worked out over the next two years in tandem with the preparation of the DPR,” he said.

If the financial closure for the implementation of the project can be achieved during the currency of the DPR, the construction of the NAHP could start by 2018.

“The duration required for the construction of the project would depend on how the two stages of the project are financed but these days it is possible to complete a project within five to six years,” Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said.

Meanwhile, the preparation of the DPR for Chamkharchu-II project in Zhemgang would be initiated soon.

By Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang