Dechen Dolkar

The second phase of the small hydropower project construction began with the salhang tendrel for the 4.5km access road to Druk Bindu I and II powerhouses yesterday.

The Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) has also awarded the road infrastructure contract for the Jomori in Samdrupjongkhar.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Loknath Sharma attended the ceremony along with officials from dzongkhag, drungkhag and gewog officials and the public at Tendruk.

DGPC has completed the preparation of the detailed project reports of four hydropower projects to be implemented under Phase II.

Under phase-II small hydropower projects include, 90MW Jomori in SamdrupJongkhar, 54MW Gamri I in Trashigang, and 26MW Druk Bindu (I & II) in Samtse.

DGPC MD Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said that Druk Hydro Energy Limited (DHyE) recently directed to start the implementation of three of these projects. However, the clearance for the 26MW Begana integrated project is awaited.

DHyE is a 100 percent subsidiary company under DGPC, which was established to take forward the construction of small hydropower projects.

The CEO of DHyE, Ugyen Namgyal said that they are already in the process of bidding the main civil works package for the Druk Bindu I&II project.

“All activities are being scheduled for commissioning of the Druk Bindu I&II project within three and half years,” the CEO said.

DGPC will be financing the Nu 3.575 billion required for the project through debt and equity financing for the construction of 26MW Druk Bindu I&II. DGPC will finance for other three projects as well.

The civil works involving the construction of the intake structures (dam), and water conductor system with tunnels and powerhouses for the Phase-I projects are being taken up by Construction Development Corporation Limited, Rigsar, and Vajra Construction Companies, all Bhutanese contractors without any support from outside contractors.

The Druk Green Consultancy under DGPC is providing design and engineering support, DHyE, with 100 percent Bhutanese officers, is managing the construction activities.

The MD said that the automation system has been awarded to Bhutan Automation & Engineering Ltd while hydro-mechanical works are being taken up by Bhutan Hydropower Services Ltd, both DGPC subsidiary and joint venture companies. The electro-mechanical works are being fully outsourced to manufacturers in India.

He said that similar modalities will be used for implementing the Phase-II project with priority given to Bhutanese contractors and manufacturers. With more projects being constructed, it is the intention to develop Bhutanese capacity to eventually take up the construction of large projects.

The phase-I projects are expected to be commissioned in 2024-2025. The Phase-II projects will start coming online after 2026.

“DGPC is currently working on the selection of the projects for Phase-III of the hydropower projects. With each phase, higher capacity of the projects are being considered,” the MD said.