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Upper Tamakoshi Hydro likely to come online in July 2018

DOLAKHA:  The Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has announced that around 87 percent of the construction work has been completed, and that it expects to start generating electricity in July 2018.

“The construction work is being done at a fast pace in order to meet the deadline for energy production,” said Ganesh Neupane, spokesperson for the project.

The 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi scheme is located in the north central part of the country and has been financed by the domestic sector.

Work on the project was badly affected by the April 2015 earthquake and a four-and-a-half-month-long Indian blockade that followed soon after. Construction was halted for almost a year due to the disaster and blockade.

Neupane said progress gathered speed after the tunnel and link road to the project site were rebuilt. “If the current pace can be maintained, the project will be completed by the end of the fiscal year 2017-18,” he said.

Prior to the earthquake, the project had completed 79 percent of the infrastructure works. The project faced cost overruns due to delays, he said. The project is now expected to cost Rs42 billion, up from the previous estimate of Rs35.29 billion.

The national pride project was originally scheduled to be completed by mid-July 2016, but the earthquakes, Indian trade blockade and various technical and social issues pushed back the completion date. As per the revised schedule, the first phase of production will start in July 2018. Similarly, the project has targeted to start the second phase of production in December 2018.

Lately, the project has been working to construct the remaining 1,200-metre portion of its head-works tunnel. The latest report shows that 85 percent of the tunnel work has been accomplished.

The project has completed construction of the powerhouse and transformer cavern. The concreting work on these structures is at the final stages, as per the project report.

The 2015 earthquake damaged the 337-metre road linking the project’s dam site. After the tunnel was reconstructed, work on the dam progressed at a faster speed.

Recently, construction work at the project site has been obstructed by the expansion of Pushpalal Highway. The project has been facing difficulties transporting large equipment to the construction site as the road is being widened.

–  THE KATHMANDU POST

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