Breakthrough achieved in Arun III hydropower project main tunnel

KATHMANDU: The 900 MW Arun III Hydropower Project, currently under construction in Sankhuwasabha, marked a significant milestone today with the breakthrough of its main tunnel. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal celebrated this achievement amid a ceremony on Tuesday, underscoring the project’s progress and its importance for Nepal’s energy sector.

Prime Minister Dahal monitored the dam site and powerhouse located in Chichila Rural Municipality of Arun III from a helicopter, showcasing the government’s commitment to overseeing and supporting major infrastructure projects.

The Arun III project, being developed by India’s Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), has completed over 70 percent of its construction. The main tunnel, which spans 11.837 kilometers from Fyaksindha to the exit at Pukhuwa, achieved its breakthrough at Aamrang at 10 AM today, followed by a program at Pukhuwa to commemorate the occasion.

Officials state that if the project continues to progress without any significant issues, the entire construction is expected to be completed within a year. According to the Project Development Agreement (PDA), local residents will receive shares in the project upon its completion. The PDA also specifies that shares will be distributed to locals within a year after the commencement of commercial production.

In addition to the equity benefits for locals, Nepal will receive 21 percent of the generated electricity for free from the Arun III project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 104 billion. The project is also expected to bring Rs 300 billion in financial benefits under various headings.

As part of the agreement, local families will be entitled to receive up to 30 units of electricity free of charge each month once the project begins generating electricity. The PDA also includes a provision that the project will be handed over to the Government of Nepal after 25 years of operation.

The Arun III Hydropower Project employs about 4,000 workers, including both Nepali and Indian laborers, highlighting the project’s role in providing significant employment opportunities in the region.

The breakthrough of the main tunnel is a crucial step forward for the Arun III Hydropower Project, bringing it closer to contributing to Nepal’s energy infrastructure and providing substantial economic benefits to the country and its citizens.

Fiscal Nepal |
Wednesday June 5, 2024, 11:13:54 AM |

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