First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is going to rehabilitate and modernize the 15 MW Gandak hydropower plant located in Pratappur Rural Municipality-7, Suryapura of Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta West).
After the electromechanical equipment such as turbines, breakers and governors of the power plant became old and dilapidated and became unusable, the authority started to restore and replace the old technology equipment with new ones. Most of the buildings and structures on the power station premises have also become dilapidated.
Electricity production was started from April 1979 by the hydroelectric power station built according to the Gandak Irrigation and Hydropower Project Agreement between the governments of Nepal and India. According to the Gandak Agreement, the hydropower plant was handed over to Nepal on 31 August 1981 by the Government of India. NEA Engineering Company Limited has prepared and submitted the detailed design, cost estimate for the rehabilitation and modernization of Gandak Hydroelectric Power Plant to the NEA.
It is estimated that about 420 million rupees will be required for the rehabilitation and modernization of the hydropower station. There are three turbines of 5 MW each in the powerhouse. Two of them are operational while the third one is damaged and has not been operational for a long time. Several equipment of the unit in operation are old and need to be replaced.
According to the Gandak Agreement between the two countries, all rights to operate the Gandak Dam are vested in India, so the power plant operates on the basis that India releases water into the canal. As a result, it is challenging to operate the power plant easily throughout the year.
The team led by NEA Managing Director Kulman Ghising visited the site and took information about the condition of the hydropower plant. Ghising said that the equipment of the power plant built 41/42 years ago have become old and unusable and the plant itself has become dilapidated, so a tender for restoration and modernization of the power station will soon be announced.
“For maintenance and inspection, the Indian side closes the canal for nearly four months every year in October-November and March-April. After the canal is closed, the power plant cannot be operated due to the lack of water. When power production is stopped for four months, we lose millions of rupees in income daily,” he said, “Even when water is available, the power plant is not running at full throttle. Due to this, the power plant is not running at full capacity. So, we will restore and modernize the power plant.”
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