Power generation from Tala, Chukha, Kurichhu, and Basochhu decresed by about four percent last year compared with 2016.
The plants’ total electricity generation was 7.25B units compared with 7.57B units of in 2016. This was mainly due to poor hydrology in the Wangchhu.
During the annual DHI conference, Druk Green’s director for finance, Ugyen Namgay, said that power utility reached 98 percent and water utilisation was 99.96 percent. “There was nothing we could do but to depend on the hydrology,” he said.
The net energy exported to India, including the royalty energy, also declined from 5.48B units in 2016 to 5.07B units in last year.
Power import from India almost doubled from 110.6M units in 2016 to 207.9M units. This increase, according to the Druk Green’s annual report, was mainly due to the substantial import during the months of May and June because of technical problem with the circuit breaker, which was restored in July. Usually import happens only during the lean winter months.
Moreover, Tala continued to experience failures with some of the systems. For instance, in late December 2016, two generating units experienced some technical problem.
“The failures of the rock bolts in the power house caverns continue to put lives of operators at risk,” the report stated. Despite the problems, it stated that there has not been any loss in generation due these failures.
One unit of the Tala was brought back into operation in May 2017. The company has also invested in other major renovation works like rebuilding of stator in Chukha.
Domestic supply of electricity has, however, increased from 2.32B units as compared to 2.08B units in 2016. Further, the Bhutan Power Corporation’s internal generation from the mini hydels also increased marginally, from 11.2M units to 12.2 M units. To meet the domestic demand, BPC also imported 0.2M unit electricity.
Last year, 7,979 more domestic consumers were added to the grid. This was mainly due to the rural electrification works and it has resulted in 8.8 percent increase in domestic consumption.
The overall income of the Druk Green also decreased to Nu 12.3B from Nu 12.9B in 2016 due to decreased generation and export.
On the other hand, the company’s expenditure increased to Nu 5.05B from Nu 4.9B in the same period. Consequently, the profit after tax also decreased by 7 percent to Nu 5.1B.