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.
Since the beginning of the preconstruction works at the project in September 2015, a total of 31km of access roads and two bailey bridges have been constructed.
A 33KV substation in Korlung, 30km of distribution lines, 19km high-voltage 132 kb transmission lines and 132 kb substation has been constructed.
The widening works from Doksum to Buyung is also nearing completion.
Approximately, a total of close to Nu.2.5bn has been spent so far.
Kholongchu Hydro Energy Limited (KHEL) began scaling down its operations after receiving no indications from its board to begin the main civil works.
Project officials said if the main works had started, the project would have recruited more than 100 people by now.
However, KHEL’s joint managing director, Kencho Dorji, said that the project will soon start its main civil works. “Some discussions are still going on between the shareholders.”
Currently, the project is working on the colony’s infrastructure development of Doksum and other preparatory works. The main preparatory works are complete but the works on the colony is still in process.
Kencho Dorji said that the 33KV substation in Korlung near Doksum has been completed.
He said that test charges are also in process. “For test charges lot of preparations need to be perused as we have to interact with other sub stations.”
It was learnt that the total approved strength of the project would have been around 500 had the project’s main work commenced.
Currently, there are 60 staffs at the company of which 38 are on deputation from Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) and six from SatlujJal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN).
More than 19 officials, who are mostly engineers and non-technical officers, are on contract.
Kencho Dorji said that the project has kept the number of people intact with the progress of the work.
Actually, the number of staffs should have come to around 500 but the project has recruited only around 60.
Since the beginning of the preconstruction works in September 2015, a total of Nu. 5bn has been spent.
However, Trashiyangtse residents are still worried asthere are no signs of any major activities.
Some residents said the project might not materialize if the authorities concerned do not push for it.
“We had high expectations from the project but in the last four years, only access roads and two bridges were constructed,” said a resident, Choden.
Similarly, some residents are worried as they have taken loan to build houses for the project staff.
Project officials, however, said that although activities at the project have slowed, there are other events that are being carried on, which is of equal importance.
According to the project officials, additional field tests, surveys and series of investigation with the models of the actual project components were carried to see its functionalities in a real-world application including the refining of designs.
It was understood that certain clauses with the Government of India’s guidelines on the cross border electricity trade that was issued on December 2016 led to a complication with the signing of the concession agreement.
Meanwhile, the main civil works is expected to take more than 60 months to complete. It would include the construction of 95m concrete gravity dam that would be about 165m long and about 6m wide.
Another major component would be the 15.77km headrace tunnel (HRT) that would be some 5.7m in diameter. A powerhouse measuring 132m long, 21m wide and 42.5m high will also be constructed near the substation in Korlung.
Another stream, Chaplangchu would be added to the HRT to augment the water supply during lean seasons.
Once completed, the run-of-water scheme project would deliver 600 MW of electricity and generate 2,568.88 GWh (Gigawatt hours) of energy a year.