MHPA all set for the big day

August 15 | Kuensel
By Nim Dorji, Trongsa

With monsoon at its peak, the Mangdechhu is roaring through the ravines of Trongsa. The river, muddy in colour, looks like in a rush. At Yurmung, where the 720MW project is located, it is a beehive of activity.

Men pitch colourful traditional tents and women spread pine needles. Everybody seems to be in a rush. Inside the powerhouse, a few men are putting up the last of the four giant screens to watch live inauguration of the much-awaited project on Saturday.

Above the project site, at Yuendrukcholing lhakhang, more project staff are busier. They are appeasing the local deity to ensure everything goes right on the big day and to thank the deity for the divine intervention thus far.

Mangdechhu project is built in a record time of seven years.

The project’s Managing Director is in Thimphu to be present during the ceremonial inauguration of the project by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Joint Managing Director (JMD) is rushing between Yuendrukcholing and the powerhouse.

“It will be the happiest day for MHPA and the two governments,” said the JMD when reaching the powerhouse. “We are fully prepared for the inauguration.”

Behind him, four long scarves in four colours hang from the ceiling.

The big event will be held in the capital. At Yurmung, they will have their own celebrations. They have reasons to celebrate. The management has succeeded in commissioning the project at optimum cost and time. Project works completed in March 2019. The total time consumed in the execution of the Project was seven years.

Unit I and II were commissioned in June this year. The commercial operation date (COD) of Unit III scheduled on July 25 and unit IV on August 4 was delayed because of some mechanical issue.

JMD Chencho Tshering said that everything is resolved. The COD for unit IV was carried out yesterday at 12:30 pm. The management is planning to do COD of unit III today.

MHPA is built at a cost of Nu 52.13 Billion (B) and will have to repay the loan in 15 years in 30 installments paying around 1.9B in each installment.

With the COD of unit, I and II, MHPA has generated around 312.7 million units of electricity till August 12 making around Nu1.288 B.

Once the COD for all the units are completed the 720 MW power will be directly sold to India at the tariff of Nu 4.12 per unit.

MHPA will be generating around 3 billion units of power in a year bringing in revenue around Nu 12 B.

Construction of the MHPA started in March 2012.

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A scene from inside the MHPA powerhouse yesterday
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