Project scheme : Run-off-the-river
Project commission : 2001 – 2002
Kurichhu hydropower plant is located on Kurichhu in eastern Bhutan, in Gyalpozhing, Mongar. With a 55 m high dam (from the deepest foundation) and a 285 m long crest, the surface powerhouse is based at the foot of the dam. It was inaugurated by His Royal Highness Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Trongsa Poenlop, and His Excellency Shri Sudhir Vyas, Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, on April 26, 2006.
Kurichhu was set up to provide a reliable source of energy for the eastern and central districts in Bhutan.
During the initial years of operation, generation was frequently restricted during peak season due to outages in the single Kurichhu-Nangkhor-Tingtibi-Jigmeling-Gelephu-Salakati export transmission line. This has improved significantly especially after the commissioning of alternate power evacuation route to India through 132 kV Nangkhor-Deothang-Montanga-Rangia export transmission line in 2013. The power generated from KHP is exported to India through the Power Trading Corporation, India at current tariff of Rs. 2.12 per unit. This was last revised in December 2016.
With ever expanding rural electrification and with urban and industrial growth, the domestic consumption is increasing rapidly which results in decrease in revenue due to differential tariff between domestic sale and export of energy to India.
Renovation and modernisation
DGPC has initiated the installation of SCADA system at KHP. The SCADA system will improve efficiency, safety and enhance competency development. The SCADA system is under implementation through Bhutan Automation & Engineering Limited.
Socio-Economic Benefits and Sustainability
KHP provides power supply to eight dzongkhags in eastern and central Bhutan. Besides providing reliable source of electricity, KHP has established basic amenities, such as schools, hospitals and community centres, including a lhakhang. KHP also provides services through its ECCD centre and garbage collection facilities, and conducts annual religious activities for the benefit of KHP, as well as the local communities. KHP further continues to support its “Being Green Initiatives” through plantation of trees, greening of its surroundings, and creating awareness on social and environmental issues that confront the hydropower sector.