The annual energy generation from the Nu 45B project is estimated at 2.9 billion units

MHPA: The Mangdechu hydropower project is now 60 percent complete and is on track to be commissioned by September 2017.

The Trongsa-based 720 mega watt (MW) project is one of the big hydropower undertakings that is on track to be completed on the stipulated time, according to project officials. Most of the hydropower projects in Bhutan, like the Punatsangchu I and II, are behind schedule.

Of the total project duration of 66 months, 33 months have elapsed. This  means the project authority has 50 percent of the project duration left for the completion of the remaining 40 percent of the total works.

According to the February work status report, the project has been able to execute most of the works ahead of their schedules. The project’s managing director AK Mishra said the project has won praises from various quarters for its smooth progress.

According to the report, the project authority is also in discussion with the contractors on the possibility of compressing the construction schedules. “All-out efforts are being made by the project authority to commission the project by September 2017,” the managing director said.

“No component of the project is left untouched and the works on all fronts are progressing as planned,” AK Mishra said. “This is a very positive sign.”

The report states that works associated with the construction of dams, which is one of the major works, will be completed by mid-December.

The factors that could considerably delay progress in a hydropower project are unforeseen geological glitches, but the project has overcome most of them. “Measures are being taken to overcome the difficulties experienced due to geological features,” the managing director said.

About 50 percent of the construction of the tunnels has been completed. The project envisages constructing tunnels of 682 metres in total.

The power evacuation of the project has been planned through a 400-kilovolt Mangdechu-Jigmeling line. The report also states that 33 percent of works associated with the construction of the transmission line have been completed.

The annual energy generation from the Nu 45 billion (B) project would be 2.9 billion units, according to the detailed project report.

To speed up the works, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between the roads department and the project authority for widening of roads and bridges between Wangdue and Langthel in Trongsa. These works are expected to be completed by December this year.

The project has so far acquired 718 acres of land, of which 102 acres are private land. It has paid Nu 12 million towards compensation for acquisition of the private lands and crop compensation.

On other fronts, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has designed the generators. Some 50 percent of the drawings have been approved. For the turbine, 43 percent of the total drawings submitted by BHEL have been approved.

Meanwhile, infrastructure works worth Nu 2B, like the construction of approach roads to the dam site and residential houses have been completed.

The Mangdechu project is one of the 10 hydropower projects planned under the 10,000MW hydropower development programme by the year 2020. An agreement for execution of the project was signed between the governments of Bhutan and India on April 30, 2010.

By MB Subba