‘The main objective the Tanahu Hydropower Project is to help supply required electricity in dry season for domestic consumption,’ says Pradeep Kumar Thike, Managing Director, Tanahu Hydropower Limited.
The company, a subsidiary company of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), is developing this 140 MW project. The site of the project is situated on Seti River near Damauli of Tanahu district.
This is largely a storage type hydropower project with an estimated average annual energy generation of 587.7 GWh from 1 to 10 years of the project completion and 489.9 GWh from 11 years onwards, according to Thike.
When it comes to the background of Tanahu Hydropower its feasibility study was carried out in 2000 while the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted a field visit study in 2005. A detailed engineering design of the project was prepared with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2008.
In 2015, the company inked a contract agreement with M/S Lahmeyer International in association with Manitoba Hydro. International, Canada as Project Supervision Consultant. As per the deal, the consultant will assist one year for pre-construction activities, six years for project construction and last five years for project operation and maintenance.
It was in 2016 the construction of the project was segregated into package 1 and package 2 to accomplish electro mechanical and hydro mechanical works respectively.
For the sake of package 1 and package 2, three contractors and two contractors respectively are also already selected through pre-qualification bidding process.
The ADB and JICA are thoroughly assessing the technical and other necessary details of these selected contractors and the project contract will be awarded to the final ones by the end of February, 2018.
On the other side, the project boasts of features like 140 m high concrete gravity dam, the reservoir area measuring 7.28 square kilometer, and underground power house measuring 6 km, among others.
Moreover, the project is totally unique in a sense that it will have sediment flushing facility. According to Thike, it is the first time in Nepal that this Japanese technology is being used in any hydropower project.
“This technology is leveraged to help bolster the effectiveness and efficiency of a hydro project. So, after its successful adoption in Tanahu hydropower, it could well be used as a model technology in other future such projects to be constructed in the country,’ he opines.
The other distinct technical characteristic of Tanahu hydropower is that its reservoir has a live storage capacity of 191 million cubic meter of water. ‘This amount of water will help generate and supply power for at least seven hours per day even in the dry season. Other storage type hydropower so far can supply electricity up to just four hours per day in the dry season,” Thike reveals.
On the other side, in order to construct the project, the process to acquire a total of 1200 ropanis of land is also going on. ‘Altogether 335 families are affected by land acquisition and, so far, some 75 percent of them have received due compensation for their lost property,’ he further informs.
Tanahu Hydropower Limited looks to appoint an international consultancy firm to effectively deal with social and ecological aspects pertaining to the project by April, 2018.
According to Thike, the company has already allocated budget for employment, education, vocational training, and drinking water targeting the local community affected by the project construction. There is also a plan to electrify 18 village development committees after the completion of the project.
‘If everything goes as planned, we will complete the project by March, 2023,’ he says adding,’ Its successfully completion will not only help in reducing the need of importing power from India in dry season but also in ensuring long-term energy security in the country,’ he remarks.