Hydropower: The Tsibjalumchhu Diversion Scheme to the Tala Hydroelectric Power Plant (THP) Reservoir was formally inaugurated by the economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk at the site yesterday.

The diversion scheme will supplement power generation from the 1,020MW THP, during lean winter months by 93 million units (MU) annually. This means the diversion scheme would generate an additional of Nu 184 million (M) annually, considering the export tariff of Tala at Nu 1.98 a unit, towards the government coffers.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the project marks a significant achievement for the Bhutanese and rightfully dedicated to The Fourth Druk Gyalpo as a tribute to the many things that His Majesty has envisioned and executed for the country.

“He is an architect of many, especially the hydropower project and today we rightfully dedicate this to The Fourth Druk Gyalpo on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty’s 60th birth anniversary,” he said.

Lyonpo also said that the achievement demonstrates the ingenuity of the Bhutanese people especially in the hydropower sector in coming up with such innovation and being able to divert an important water source and add to power generation. Lyonpo said that the diversion scheme is equivalent to have built a separate hydropower of 25MW. “It’s a significant addition of power generation to Tala,” Lyonpo said.

Constructed at a total cost of Nu 288M, the scheme consists of a 1.46 Km (3.5 m in diametre) long D-shaped headrace tunnel, through which the water joins the main reservoir.

Like the 126MW Dagachhu project, this is another project undertaken fully by Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), including the feasibility studies, investigations and design.

DGPC’s Managing Director, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, said that working on the project had been a rewarding experience for both the company and the individuals involved. “With this project, we have not only gained experience but also expertise and confidence in ourselves to act as equal with our Indian counterparts in the upcoming four joint-venture projects that are on the pipeline,” he said.

With the completion of essential works, the Tsibjalumchhu was diverted to THP reservoir on June 30 last year. Final remaining works were then completed by March 31 earlier this year.

As of October 12, Tsibjalumchhu Diversion Scheme has added 94.698MU of generation to THP. Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said that the full cost of construction would be recovered within two years.

Tsibjalumchhu stream is a left bank tributary of Wangchhu, with a catchment area of 56.63 km square and originates at an elevation of about 3,800 metre and drains into the Wangchhu downstream to the dam of Tala Hydroelectric Power Plant.

Younten Tshedup, Wangkha