MTR: The delay in commissioning of the 1200MW Punatsangchhu I project has come at the cost of slashing the 11th Plan target of augmenting the installed power capacity to 4,546MW.

During the mid term review of the economic affairs ministry yesterday, the Director of Department of Hydropower and Power Systems, Karma Tshering said the targets are now reprioritised. The new target is now 3,346MW of installed hydropower generation capacity.

The installed capacity at the end of the last Plan was 1,480MW and the capacity was increased to 1,606MW because of the commissioning of 126MW Dagacchu, early this year.

Another target was to double the GDP contribution of power sector from Nu 51B to Nu 103B by the end of the plan. Currently, it was revealed that power sector contributed about Nu 65B to the GDP, achieving about 64 percent of the target.

On the employment generation in the sector, the 11th Plan target was to create 14,593 jobs. However the director suggested lowering the target at 10,000 jobs since inter-governmental projects are not coming up. Currently, it employs 7,400 nationals.

The department has also spent about Nu 401.66M in preparing the detailed project reports of Chamkharchhu, Bunakha, Sankosh and Kuri-Gongri during the 10th Plan. However, the government of India, which had initially committed the fund, did not release it.

The director requested the Prime Minister to pursue this issue with the Indian counterparts.

During the current plan, the reconnaissance studies of seven projects-747MW Amochhu-I, 500MW Amochhu-II, 73MW Jhomori (Dhansiri), 94MW Kholongchhu (Yangtse), 71MW Samchhu, 77MW Pachhu and 55MW Pipingchhu are in pipeline.

The director said initially the department proposed budget to carryout the study since it was decided to be outsourced. “This has been reprioritised because it would now be taken in-house,” he said. The department has embarked on the reconnaissance study on three sites to date.

Pre-Feasibility Studies (PFS) of five projects of the eight projects targeted in the plan has been completed.

The projects include 168MW Dangchhu, 568MW Chamkharchhu-II, 382MW Chamkharchhu-IV, 463MW Nyera Amari-I & II (integrated), 45MW Gamri-I & 100 MW Gamri- II, 107MW Shongarchhu, 140MW Dagachhu-II and 1,800MW Manas Reservoir. Of the eight projects, two projects of Nyera Amari (integrated) and Gamri (integrated) have been allocated to DGPC to conduct PFS studies.

While the detailed project reports (DPR) of 1,230MW Rotpashong, Nyera-amari and Sankosh has been either completed or on-going, the director asked the government to expedite the discussion on Kuri-Gongri to meet the target.

These initiatives are pursued to implement the 10,000MW initiative.

Meanwhile, the ongoing 1,200MW Punatsangchhu-I hydropower project, with 73.2 percent of the works complete as of April 2015, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2019.

The 720MW Mangdechhu and 1,020MW Punatsangchhu-II hydropower projects, which are also under construction, are scheduled for commission in May and June 2018, respectively.

In terms of implementation progress, 62 percent of the works has been completed for Mangdechhu hydropower project and 61 percent for Punatsangchhu-II hydropower projects as of April 2015.

Tshering Dorji