Nim Dorji | Trongsa

Mangdechhu Hydropower Plant (MHPA) in Trongsa generated revenue of Nu 11 Billion (B) since its commission in June last year up to July 13.

By August end, project management is expecting to meet its annual target of full power generation and revenue of Nu 12B. All four units are running at 10 percent of additional capacity and generating 18.98 million units a day at 791.7MW since June 24.

The project’s four power-generating machines have so far produced about 2.7B units of electricity from its target of 3B units a year.

MHPA’s joint managing director, Chencho Tshering, said that despite several issues the plant has been generating energy as expected. “Recently we had some teething problems but our Bhutanese experts managed to resolve them. For now, the project is operating satisfactorily.”

He said that all units are on grid with a full generation capacity of 720MW with an additional 10 percent power generation.

MHPA is scheduled to be handed over to Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) on July 31.

“Internally we are well prepared to hand it over. Operation and maintenance of the project is carried out by the employees who would be later transferred to DGPC,” said Chencho Tshering.

The Power Trading Corporation of India transports the energy produced from the project to India.

The project’s chief finance officer Sonam Wangdi said during the course of export some units of electricity is lost in transit, which is known as transmission loss. As per standards, the highest ceiling of the electricity loss is two percent. However, the estimated power loss from MHPA in a year ranges from 1.3 to 1.5 percent. The power loss would be borne by the Bhutan Power Corporation.

Sonam Wangdi said that although the estimated generation is 3B units in a year, the actual realisation generation as of June 30 is around 2.68B. “We have a navigable deficit of around 0.3B. It’s a big achievement.”

He said that after the commissioning of the project, power generation during the monsoon has been increasing. In the last one year the project has generated around 10.8B units of electricity.  During the lean season, power generation drops to as low as 90 MW.

Figures on the full power generation of the project are expected to be out by August since all the units were commissioned within that period last year.

The electricity, which is exported to India, is sold at a tariff of INR 4.12 per unit.

The MHPA project was built with 70 percent loan and 30 percent grant from the Government of India. It is expected to take fifteen years for the project to clear the loan.

Meanwhile, the awards committee of the Institution of Civil Engineers – ICE – of the United Kingdom has decided to recommend the ‘Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project’ Authority as the recipient of the Brunel Medal for 2020. 

The Brunel Medal (project-based) is an award given by ICE to recognize excellence in civil engineering and valuable service or achievement, which has been rendered to or within the civil engineering industry.