Almost 75 per cent of the overall construction works of the 102 MW Middle Bhotekoshi Hydropower Project under construction in Sindhupalchowk under the leadership of Chilime Hydropower Company has been completed.
The construction of the project is in full swing with a view to completing it by 2022. The construction of the main structure of the project, including the dam and sand dredging pond, is targeted to be completed before the onset of monsoon rains, according to the company sources.
The construction of the power house building is targeted to be completed within the next five months and the remaining 415 metres of the 7.2 km tunnel will be completed within 3 months.
The completion schedule of the project has been affected due to various natural calamities and poor performance of the Chinese Company – Guangxi Hydro and Electrical Construction, the contractor for civil and hydro mechanical works.
A team consisting of Nepal Electricity Authority Managing Director Kul Man Ghising, project promoter Middle Bhotekoshi Hydropower Company Chairman Hariraj Neupane and operators inspected the construction site on Saturday and urged to complete the works at the earliest.
The team has instructed to work with the project management, contractors and consultants by making an integrated schedule so that the construction will be completed in any case by December 2022.
Ghising said that the construction progress of other structures, except the main tunnel of the project, which was almost closed due to natural calamities, was encouraging.
“The project-affected and Nepali citizens across the country have invested in the project by buying shares even though they have taken loans at high interest rates. The cost of the project is increasing due to delay in construction. However, investors are not able to get return on the loss of revenue from the sale of electricity,” said Ghising.
NEA Deputy Managing Director and Chairman of the company Neupane said that the construction of the project has reached a special stage and it was necessary to move ahead by making an integrated schedule to complete the remaining works.
Chief Executive Officer of the company Ram Gopal Siwakoti said that the construction of the project would be completed in time as the work of the contractor company has improved.
The representative of the contractor company has expressed commitment to complete the construction in time by increasing the manpower and equipment.
The estimated cost of the project was Rs. 12.28 billion excluding interest for the construction period when the loan agreement was signed with the Employees Provident Fund. The updated estimated cost of the project is Rs. 15.32 billion excluding the interest. The company has already raised funds by issuing ordinary shares. The general investors of the company are 1.75 million. The project aims to generate 542.2 million units of electricity annually. NEA will purchase electricity generated from the project at Rs. 8.40 and Rs. 4.80 per unit in winter and rainy season respectively. The company will earn Rs 2.90 billion annually from the sale of electricity.