Nikachhu project begins pre-commissioning test

Kuensel | Dechen Dolkar | November 15, 2023

Even as political parties talk about starting small hydropower projects, the 118MW Nikachhu Hydropower project in Trongsa commenced its pre-commissioning test on November 13, marking a pivotal step forward for this ambitious endeavour.

With the latest development – dam impoundment – underway, the project will carry out testing along with the charging of the water conductor system, which would take about a month.

Dam impoundment means filling water to the reservoir, which is the first step towards commissioning of the project.

Project officials said that anticipation is high as the water is expected to reach the turbine by next month, initiating subsequent wet tests on the Electro-Mechanical equipment.

Project officials said that a successful start of the initial dam impoundment ceremony signifies not only a critical achievement for the project, but bringing it one step closer to completion that will significantly contribute to the region’s energy landscape.

“As the project progresses, we are eagerly awaiting further updates on the testing phases and the eventual operationalisation of this monumental effort,” said a project official.

The Nikachhu project is set to be commissioned by end of December this year. The total estimated completion cost for the project is Nu 13.8Billion, reflecting a substantial investment in advancing sustainable energy solutions.

The total approved project cost is Nu 11.89 billion (B), which is financed through a debt-equity ratio of 65:35.

According to the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the levelized tariff is Nu 4.05 per unit and the initial quoted tariff starts at Nu 3.30/kWh with annual escalation till 15 years. “The tariff will increase every year.

Meanwhile, as the project nears its completion more than 100 employees have left the project and joined new projects.

The project is a 100 percent subsidy company of Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC).