Construction of 90 MW Jomori hydropower project begins

BBS | Kinley Wangchuk | November 12, 2023

The construction of the 90-megawatt Jomori hydropower project in Samdrup Jongkhar has begun. The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the access road to various components of the Project was held yesterday in Serthig Gewog. The construction of the project is expected to enhance the livelihoods of residents and provide job opportunities.

The 20-kilometre access road will connect the tunnel, the dam, and the powerhouse for the Jomori hydropower project.

Two contractors will carry out the construction of the access road. It is expected to be completed in eight to 12 months.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, the Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said all the construction works of the hydropower project would be carried out by Bhutanese.

“Project design work, engineering, project management, construction, and commissioning work will be done by Bhutanese.”

The project is expected to be completed in four and a half years. It is expected to cost about 8.8 billion ngultrum.

The completion of the project is expected to provide the people of Lauri, Serthig, and Langchenphu Gewogs in Jomotshangkha Dungkhag with a reliable power supply. Residents of the three gewogs currently struggle with erratic power supply for months, especially during the monsoon.

“With this project, I think the problem of erratic power supply will be resolved. Currently, we face power outages for months,” said Sangay Yuden, a shopkeeper.

“Villagers here grow vegetables and we will be able to sell them here. So, we can earn income and we will get a reliable power supply,” said Kesang Wangchuk, a resident.

“We have a power supply here but it is not reliable. We have to stay without a power supply for a month sometimes. With this project, I hope we will receive a reliable power supply,” said Melem Zangmo, another resident.

“The project will provide employment opportunities here. Youth having relevant skills will return to the village and can work here. So, everyone is happy to get this project,” said Lobzang Dorji, Lauri Mangmi.

According to a news release from Druk Hydro Energy Limited, the development of small and medium-sized hydropower projects with capacities of up to 150 megawatts is to enhance domestic energy security, stimulate grassroots economic activities, and generate employment opportunities.