Thukten Zangpo

His Majesty The King conferred the Druk Thuksey (Heart Son of Bhutan) medal to Arvind Kumar Mishra, former Managing Director of Mangdechhu Hydropower Authority (MHPA), during the 116th National Day celebrations in Thimphu.

The award recognises his exceptional services to Bhutan’s hydropower development.

In his role as MHPA’s Managing Director, Arvind Kumar Mishra oversaw the project’s entire lifecycle, from its inception to successful commissioning in seven years.

His innovative approach and unconventional strategies led to the project’s rapid progress and completion at an optimal cost, making it a benchmark project in the SAARC region.

AK Mishra’s association with Bhutan’s hydropower sector spans over 12 years, working at Kurichhu and then at Mangdechhu projects.

Expressing his gratitude, AK Mishra said that the award is a testament to the Bhutanese government’s recognition, particularly from the highest level. “I feel deeply satisfied.”

He acknowledged the logistical challenges of the MHPA project, despite that the project was completed in seven years with optimum cost.

“The project’s total cost was Nu 50.2 billion, which translated to Nu 70 million per megawatt (MW) capacity of total capacity of 720 MW,” AK Mishra said, “With our dedicated team’s unwavering efforts, the MHPA stands as a benchmark project.” In the next 10 years, nobody can break this record considering per MW cost, he added.

He said that the project has already generated Nu 40 billion in revenue, with complete cost recovery within the next year. The interest during construction (IDC) was about Nu 12 billion which would be also recovered later, AK Mishra added.

He also said that the project was implemented with innovative solutions, an example could be bringing in a new contract system, a standard bidding document that effectively reduced contractual disputes.

“I am committed to applying my expertise to give back to society and serve Bhutan for as long as I am able,” AK Mishra said.

In 2020, the project was awarded the prestigious Brunel Medal by the Institute of Civil Engineers, London as a recognition of excellence in civil engineering and the project’s social and environmental credentials.

The project is expected to reduce about 2.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

In 2022, the project generated 3,084.96 million units of electricity with Nu 11.42 billion exported to India and Nu 129.97 million from domestic sales. The tariff of the Mangdechhu Project is Nu 4.12 per kWh.

In the past 10 months this year, the project generated 2,909.55 million units of electricity and earned Nu 10.03 billion from electricity exports and Nu 1.67 billion from domestic sales.