Govt. Assures To Look Into Lowering Power Tariff For Industries

July 16 | Business Bhutan
By Krishna Ghalley, Phuentsholing

The government is keen to look into all the issues that the biggest industrial hub in Pasakha currently faces including reducing the power tariff or maintaining status quo, according to economics affairs minister Loknath Sharma … Continue Reading

Nikachhu project progressing well

July 15 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji

If the progress of the 118MW Nikachhu Hydro Project is any indication, the country should think of going for smaller hydroelectric projects. While mega projects like the Punatsangchhus are embroiled in delays … Continue Reading

Govt. to rationalise power subsidy

July 13 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

With the three-year tariff cycle ending last month, the government has instructed the Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) to maintain status quo on the existing domestic power tariff … Continue Reading

A GLOF threatens Bhutan right now

July 10 | The Third Pole | UK/India
By Nidup Gyeltshen, Dawa Gyelmo with additional inputs from Omair Ahmad

Sustained heat waves, a delayed monsoon and a spike in temperature has recently melted huge volumes of ice and snow in Bhutan’s largest glacial lake, the Thorthormi Tsho (lake), causing the water level to rise by almost two meters … Continue Reading

Govt. and Opposition concerned on PHPA I’s progress

July 10 | Kuensel
By Younten Tshedup

The government and the Opposition are on the same page when it concerns the progress of Phunatshangchhu hydroelectric project I (PHPA I). Foreign minister, Dr Tandi Dorji during the recent press conference said … Continue Reading

MHPA starts commercial operation of Unit 2

July 9 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji

The Mangdechu Hydro Project Authority (MHPA) began selling the power generated from 180MW of Unit 2 from 12:30pm yesterday. It was learnt that the unit would be generating about Nu 18 million a day … Continue Reading

World Bank report underscores financial risks

July 5 | Kuensel
By Phub Dem

Financing the 12th FYP programmes will be a challenge according to World Bank’s latest developmental update. In the 12th Plan period, the government has projected a total financing gap of Nu 29.2 billion … Continue Reading

Residents Hope For Development With Kholongchu Colony Construction

July 4 | Business Bhutan
By Jigme Wangchen, Tashiyangtse

Though pre-construction work at the Kholongchu Hydro Energy Limited (KHEL) project is completed, Trashiyangtse residents are worried that there are no signs of any major activities … Continue Reading

Many questions as Bhutan plans big dam with reservoir

June 24 | The Third Pole | India/UK
By Omair Ahmad

In his first major interview to the Indian media, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering stated that his priority for India-Bhutan relations was to build Bhutan’s first reservoir-based dam, the Sankosh project … Continue Reading

BHEL completes rehab of two units at 336-MW Chhukha hydroelectric project in Bhutan

June 19 | Hydro Review | Oklahoma
By Elizabeth Ingram

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned Unit 1 of the 336-MW Chhukha hydroelectric project (HEP), following complete renovation and modernization of the generator … Continue Reading

Caution required to take up new hydropower projects

June 29 | The Bhutanese
By Karma Chuki Namgyel

The monetary benefit raked in by Chukha hydropower project, which was started in the 5th Five-Year-Plan (FYP), helped boost Bhutan’s economy, and thus, hydropower export is seen as the major growth driver … Continue Reading

Hydropower loans push country’s debt to Nu 210 billion

June 29 | The Bhutanese
By Karma Chuki Namgyel

The Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering, presented the State of the Nation Report to the Parliament on 26 June. As for the state of the country’s economy contained in the report, PM said that the country’s public debt has reached … Continue Reading

Ray of Hope for the Punatsangchu I project with new solutions

June 29 | The Bhutanese
By Tenzing Lamsang

The 1,200 MW Punatsangchu I project, over the years, has become a collective national nightmare with its slides, delays and huge cost escalations but with no guarantee of a solution. The project from its original completion date … Continue Reading

Irregularities Worth Nu 1.77bn Of Three Hydropower Projects

June 28 | Business Bhutan
By Thukten Zangpo

The three hydropower projects – Punatshangchhu-I Hydroelectric Project Authority (PHPA-I), Punatshangchhu-II Hydroelectric Project Authority (PHPA-II), and Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA) – … Continue Reading

Major Preconstruction Works Completed At Kholongchu Project

June 27 | Business Bhutan
By Jigme Wangchen, Tashiyangtse

With major preconstruction works at the Kholongchu project in Trashiyangtse completed, the project is going to start its main civil works soon as the project has already floated the tenders for the works … Continue Reading

Tala shutdown on 25th and 26th June morning due to transmission line outages

June 26 | The Bhutanese
By Tenzing Lamsang

The 1020 MW Tala project had to shut down on the morning of 25th June and again on 26th June (today) due to transmission line outages in India. The transmission lines in India were hit by lightning and bad weather … Continue Reading

MPs visit PHPA sites

June 19 | Kuensel
By Phurpa Lhamo, Wangdue

To better understand the geological challenges and progress at Punatsangchhu Hydroelectric Project (PHPA) I and II, more than a dozen members of parliament, led by the National Assembly Speaker, visited the project site … Continue Reading

MHPA commissions first unit to generate 180MW

June 17 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji, Trongsa

Following several delays, the Mangdechhu Hydro Project Authority (MHPA) yesterday commissioned a unit, which would produce 180 megawatt (MW) of electricity by this month … Continue Reading

Single to three phase switch to take time

June 15 | Kuensel
By Esori Waglay

Lack of budget and huge investment requirement has delayed the conversion of rural electrification from single to three phase, economic affairs minister Loknath Sharma said … Continue Reading

Power tariff revisions worry Pasakha industries

June 15 | Kuensel
By Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing

With the three-year power tariff cycle ending this month, industries in Pasakha industrial estate in Phuentsholing have started to worry. The revision with increased proposals would do more harm than good … Continue Reading

Hydropower revenue benefits only 5 percent of population, says NC

June 15 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

Only five percent of the population reaps the benefit of national wealth, hydropower according to the National Council. When it comes to financing the pay revision, is the government counting the chickens before they hatch? … Continue Reading

Electricity tariff has always been higher: ABI

June 3 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The Association of Bhutanese Industries (ABI), in its assessment of the electricity tariff revision proposals submitted by the two power companies, claimed that tariff has always been on the higher side … Continue Reading

3,460 acres of forest lost to hydropower projects

May 31 | Kuensel
By Phub Dem

Bhutan lost about 3,460 acres of forest cover due to construction of three hydropower projects – Punatsangchhu-I, Punatsangchhu-II, and Mangdechhu. A study by Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS) … Continue Reading

Domestic power tariff revision proposed

May 30 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

With the three-year tariff cycle ending next month, the Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) and Bhutan Power Corporation (BPC) have proposed domestic electricity tariff revision for the next three years … Continue Reading

Chamkharchhu project out of government’s plan

May 28 | Kuensel
By Phub Dem

Much to the happiness of activist and environmentalists, the fate of Chamkharchhu Hydropower project is not decided. It is not even sure if the project will be dropped from the 12th Plan or if it would be delayed for a few more years … Continue Reading

MHPA expects to be fully commissioned in July

May 25 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji | Trongsa

The first two units of the Mangdechu Hydro Power Authority (MHPA) are scheduled for commission next month and another two units in July. This date was finalised based on the work progress for the rectification work on the adit gates … Continue Reading

2018, not an easy year for DGPC

May 24 | Kuensel
By Tshering Palden

Druk Green Power Corporation suffered numerous hiccups last year besides a huge drop in electricity generation hitting its revenue. DGPC director Dorji Pavo Phuntshok said that the company’s challenges continue … Continue Reading

DHI & Group contribute Nu 13B in 2018

May 22 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The Druk Holding and Investments (DHI) and its group of companies contributed more than Nu 13B to the government exchequer in 2018 through dividend, taxes and royalties. However, the DHI group’s comprehensive income … Continue Reading

Hydropower revenue drops

May 22 | Kuensel
By Tshering Palden

With the Wangchhu recording the lowest flow due to the worst hydrology since 2008, the Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) saw the lowest generation of electricity last year. DGPC was short of 13.18 percent of the target generation … Continue Reading

Slide at P I site to lead to diversion of a stretch of East-West highway

May 11 | The Bhutanese
By Tenzing Lamsang

The troubled right bank of the 1200 MW Punatsangchu I project which was undergoing extensive strengthening saw a portion of the right bank slide down on 22 January 2019. It now emerges that this latest slide in the right bank … Continue Reading

Leak found in Adit tunnel during MHPA Commissioning

May 11 | The Bhutanese
By Tenzing Lamsang

The 720 MW Mangdechu Hydroelectric Project was supposed to spin its first turbine and export power from its first 180 MW turbine on 10th May 2019. The second turbine was supposed to start from 24th May … Continue Reading

MHPA awaits grid sync

May 9 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji, Trongsa

While one unit of the 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydro Power Authority (MHPA) has successfully tested, a temporary arrangement has been made to evacuate power to India using the transmission line of Punatshangchhu I and II … Continue Reading

People look forward to Sunkosh project

April 29 | Kuensel
By Rinchen Zangmo, Drujeygang

At the public consultation meeting about the Sunkosh reservoir hydroelectric project in Drujeygang, Dagana last week, locals expressed enthusiasm about the development of the project despite the loss of agricultural land and forest … Continue Reading

Mangdechhu tariff protocol signed

April 24 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

With the signing of the tariff protocol yesterday, all that remains is the formality for the 720MW Mangdechhu project to export electricity to India. The tariff protocol was signed between … Continue Reading

Nu 30B in the red last year

April 23 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The country’s white gold, clean energy derived from hydropower is not so clean if the energy trade is of any indication. Bhutan exported 4.53 million units (MU) of electricity harnessed from its renewable natural resources … Continue Reading

Bulk of Mangdechu revenue will go to finance pay hike

April 20 | The Bhutanese

The annual implication of the pay commission’s pay hike is Nu 4.238 bn a year and 17.913 bn in the next four years. However, if increased salary hike grants to be given to the autonomous Royal University of Bhutan and other institutions and increased student stipends are included then the total cost implication … Continue Reading

PHPA II borrows fund for dam, not salary

April 13 | Kuensel
By Phurpa Lhamo, Wangdue

Punatsangchhu II Hydroelectric Project (PHPA II) borrowed Nu 600 million (M) from Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority to continue the speedy construction of the dam, officials said … Continue Reading

We are landlocked but our minds are open: PM

April 13 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The state visit to Bangladesh was a homecoming of sort for Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, who spent 10 years in two medical colleges there. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the Prime Minister at the Hazrat Shahjalal … Continue Reading

MHPA plans to commission between May 10 and June 25

April 4 | Kuensel
By Staff Reporter

After experiencing several delays, the 720MW Mangdechhu project will be fully commissioned between May 10 and June 25 this year. Between this period, all four units in the power house, each capable of generating 180MW … Continue Reading

Mangdechhu project spins a turbine

April 1 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The testing of the first generating unit of the Mangdechhu hydropower project was successful. Managing director of the project, A K Mishra said the testing was done to record the rotation per minute (RPM) and possible vibration … Continue Reading

The heat is on

March 26 | Kuensel
By Ugyen Penjore and Phub Dem

Aum Zam is a deeply religious woman. The sight of the house crow attacking other birds’ nest at her locality, in Olakha, pains her. She blames the change in temperature in Thimphu … Continue Reading

Sunkosh stuck due to differences between Bhutan and India on implementation modality

March 23 | The Bhutanese
By Tenzing Lamsang

The agreement for the 2560 MW Sunkosh project, by all indications, was supposed to be signed last year as part of the 50 years of diplomatic relations. Bhutan’s Foreign Ministry listed it as one of the highlights of the celebrations … Continue Reading

GLOF: preparing for uncertainties

March 23 | Kuensel
By Jigme Wangchuk

The thin moraine wall yields to the pressure of the lake’s rising water level. A deluge twice the destructive power of the 1994 glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) on the Phochhu comes thundering down … Continue Reading

Debt to GDP projected to decline to 76 percent

March 22 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The country’s external debt is expected to fall from 105 percent of GDP in the current fiscal year to 76 percent by the end of 12th Plan, the finance ministry projects. However, in absolute terms, Bhutan’s external debt would increase … Continue Reading

THEL to study water sources in Tangsibji

March 20 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji, Trongsa

In what is a case of community and projects sharing responsibilities, the Tansgibji Hydroelectric Limited (THEL) will carry out research to resolve the issue of drying water sources … Continue Reading

PM to visit Bangladesh in April

March 20 | Kuensel
By Staff Reporter

Bhutan and Bangladesh are expected to forge new cooperations in the field of trade, health, agriculture, tourism and human resource development during the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering’s state visit to Bangladesh … Continue Reading

‘Trade, Not Aid’, or, ‘Aid for Trade’

March 16 | Kuensel
By Sanjeev Mehta

Public economics is known to serve a menu of options and only a careful choice helps to achieve the desired objectives. Discourse on ‘Trade, not aid’, a new policy approach requires a better understanding … Continue Reading

More power to BCCI?

March 11 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The private sector is expected to get the much-needed fuel to kick-start it’s engine with the government forming a 10-member private sector development committee (PSDC) chaired by the economic affairs minister… Continue Reading

In the divine power we trust

March 5 | Kuensel
Editorial

Construction experts or hydropower gurus might find it strange, even funny, to hear management of a mega hydroelectric project seeking divine intervention to get rid of obstacles … Continue Reading

PHPA I seeks divine intervention

March 4 | Kuensel
By Phurpa Lhamo, Wangdue

Following numerous landslides and technical issues at the Punatsangchhu Hydroelectric Project I, a three-day rimdro was conducted at the dam site beginning February 28 … Continue Reading

Punatsangchhu, the wintering paradise of migratory birds and birders

March 2 | Kuensel
Contributed by Indra Acharja, Student, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, indra.acharja@gmail.com

The recent news of “Bhutan’s first water sports park to be developed along the riverfront in Wangdue” generated a mixed-feeling among some people although the larger group is rather least concerned … Continue Reading

Mangdechhu project’s commission slated for April

March 1 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji, Trongsa

The 720MW Mangdechhu Hydro Project Authority (MHPA) plans to generate full power by monsoon. Managing director AK Mishra said the project is aiming to commission all four units in April … Continue Reading

Auditors attend Hydropower auditing training

February 26 | Kuensel
By Rinchen Zangmo, Tsirang

More than 50 auditors attended a three-day training on hydropower system auditing in Tsirang. Royal Audit Authority’s (RAA) deputy auditor general, Ugyen Dorji, said that the programme was conducted … Continue Reading

First ever water park plan along the riverfront sparks objection from conservationists

February 23 | The Bhutanese

The Druk Water World’s plan to establish the first ever water sporting recreational center along the riverfront in Wangdue led to conservationists, expressing their astonishment and complete disapproval … Continue Reading

Of realities

February 20 | Kuensel
Editorial

Mired in delays, designed or otherwise and geological surprises, something is not going right with the hydropower projects in the country. All three elected governments have been involved at various stages of developing the on-going … Continue Reading

PHPA I’s commission pushed to 2024

February 18 | Kuensel
By Tshering Palden

Punatsangchhu I hydroelectric project (PHPA I) is working out solutions to ensure full safety of the slide area and the areas above it, the project’s chairperson and economic affairs minister Loknath Sharma said … Continue Reading

State dominated economy hinders private sectors: World Bank

February 15 | Kuensel
Editorial

The state’s dominance of the economy has not only constrained private sector development but also distorted the market, according to the World Bank. A working paper of the World Bank, ‘Bhutan Development Report- … Continue Reading

Bhutan and Bangladesh to explore new areas in trade

February 13 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

Despite good relations between Bangladesh and Bhutan, the bilateral trade volume is relatively small and limited to few goods. At the 7th Bhutan-Bangladesh commerce secretary level meeting yesterday … Continue Reading

One At A Time, Please!

February 5 | Business Bhutan
Editorial

After missing several deadlines, the much awaited 720MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project (MHPA) is finally readying for commission. The last deadline for MHPA commission was January 10 … Continue Reading

Dependence On Hydropower Creates Weak Private Sector

February 5 | Business Bhutan
By Phub Dem

Bhutan’s dependence on hydropower has resulted in weak private sector development and also created macroeconomic vulnerabilities though the country’s growth has been driven mainly by the public sector … Continue Reading

Delays mire the power sector

February 5 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The dog year pulled the curtain on Bhutan’s expectations from the hydropower sector. While Mangdechhu was for the pig year to relish, that the two Punatshangchhu projects were not likely to be completed … Continue Reading

MHPA readies to be commissioned

January 30 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

The 720MW Mangdechhu Hydropower Project draws an inch closer to being commissioned. The dam’s diversion tunnel, which was used to divert the river during the construction of the dam, will be plugged tomorrow … Continue Reading

No dedicated economic activity decided for Zhemgang: PM

January 28 | Kuensel
By Yangchen C Rinzin

Hydropower is not the only means to boost economic activities in Zhemgang, economic affairs minister Loknath Sharma said during the 2nd meet the press on January 25 . The minister was responding to question on what other economic … Continue Reading

NGI says it had warned about overburden slide at PI

January 26 | Kuensel
By Tashi Dema

The third-party expert the Punatsangchhu Hydroelectric Project I (PI) hired, the Norwegian Geological Institute (NGI), refuted allegations of the consultant failing to provide a concrete solution … Continue Reading

Slide and cracks at PHPA 1 under control, claims management

January 25 | Kuensel
By Tashi Dema

While the Punatsangchhu Hydroelectric Project (PI) management and the economic affairs minister, Loknath Sharma, assured that the sliding of an overburden on the right bank of the dam … Continue Reading

Another slide at PHPA I

January 24 | Kuensel
By Tashi Dema

An overburden of a local slide near the Punatsangchhu Hydroelectric Project I (PI) dam site construction occurred on the morning of January 22, taking away an excavator, injuring the operator and … Continue Reading

The irregularity of the hydropower sector

January 23 | Kuensel
Editorial

The findings of the Public Accounts Committee on unresolved irregularities are disturbing. There are still Nu 4.3 billion (B) worth of pending audit issues to be resolved. What is even more disturbing is that … Continue Reading

Bhutan’s hydro has a future provided it can stay competitive against India and Nepal: Hydro Report

January 19 | The Bhutanese
By Tenzing Lamsang

As Bhutan develops multiple hydro projects an important question to ask is not only on the price of the projects or its loan component and tariff rates, but more importantly, on the future power market scenario … Continue Reading

NA discuss Kuri-Gongri and tourism in the east

January 15 | Kuensel
By Phurpa Lhamo

After the completion of the detailed project report (DPR) by the end of this year, work could begin for Kuri-Gongri Hydropower Project, Economic Affairs Minister Loknath Sharma said … Continue Reading

Chamkharchu project discussions lose track

January 12 | Kuensel
By Tashi Dema, additional reporting by Manika Rai and Karma Yuden

Discussions on the benefits and disadvantages of hydropower projects at the National Assembly on January 10 overshadowed the discussions of when the government would start the Chamkharchu project … Continue Reading

MHPA misses fourth commissioning deadline

January 12 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

Minor works like sealing the floodgates and concreting the adit (access) tunnels delayed the commissioning of 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project (MHPA) scheduled for January 10 … Continue Reading

PHPA II may complete by 2021

January 5 | Kuensel
By Tashi Dema

The season’s first snowfall on December 18, 2018 has good impact on Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), said managing director of DGPC Dasho Chhewang Rinzin. He said that there was an additional hydropower generation … Continue Reading

GoI commits Nu 1B more outside the tariff

January 3 | Kuensel
By Tshering Dorji

To offset the loss in revenue from the difference in proposed tariff for Mangdechhu hydropower project and the final tariff, which is about Chheltrum 15 a unit, the government of India has agreed … Continue Reading

Hydropower generation increases following recent snowfall

January 1 | Kuensel
By Staff Reporter

The season’s first snowfall on December 18, 2018 has good impact on Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), said managing director of DGPC Dasho Chhewang Rinzin. He said that there was an additional hydropower generation … Continue Reading

PI completion could take five more years

January 1 | Kuensel
By Tashi Dema

Looking down from the Wangdue-Tsirang highway, men in hard helmets and heavy earth moving machines look tiny as they excavate earth on the right bank of the diverted Punatsangchhu … Continue Reading

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