No major setbacks are expected hereafter 

Marking another milestone, the 720 MW Mangdechu Hydro Power Project (MHPA) executed its last “day lighting” yesterday by linking the face 8 and 9 of the headrace tunnel (HRT), the most critical component of the project.

Day lighting is an event where two tunnels or segments of a tunnel are linked.

Excavation works of all 10 faces of the HRT has been completed except for the portion between face 8 and 9, where loose soil was encountered. This is located underneath Samcholing.

As of September 7, about 119m of excavation works were due in the entire HRT stretching 13.5Km. Yesterday, the final five meters of excavation between face 8 and 9 was completed, which involved blasting.

The project’s managing director, AK Mishra said that the most critical component of the project winded up successfully. “The project should commission as scheduled and no major setbacks are expected hereafter,” he said.

Works in this critical component has been slowing the progress to date. In an earlier interview with Kuensel, AK Mishra had said that works in the critical component has been slow because small segments of blasting is followed by strengthening works.

Concrete lining in the HRT is one of the major works overdue. Of the 13.5km, only 3.7km of concrete lining has been completed on September 7. “Concrete lining of 4 meters was also completed yesterday,” A K Mishra said adding that this work is being expedited and is scheduled to complete by April next year.

As for the dam concreting, a total of 409,471 cubic meters has been achieved as of September 4. Remaining 58,529 cubic meters is due for completion. By January next year, the dam should be up. By April 2018, all components of the dam are expected to complete.

All underground components of the dam including de-silting chamber and intake tunnel is completed. As of last September, more than 90 percent of civil works are completed. Hydro mechanical equipment is being installed in the first unit.

Once commissioned, the project will generate about 3B units of energy and the expected revenue earning is Nu 7.5B a year. After loan repayment, the country will get to keep around Nu 3.5B a year in its coffer. This is considering the export tariff at Nu 2.50 a unit, which may change after the final cost.

Tshering Dorji