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Chameliya Hydropower Officially Begins Power Production

Image Courtesy: The Kathmandu Post

The Chameliya Hydropower Project has been connected to the national grid from Sunday, 11th Feb, 2018. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurated the hydropower project after completing entire tests of two production unit the day before.

Why it Matters:

Chameliya Hydropower Project located at Balach of Darchula district is a 30 MW project with two turbines of capacity 15 MW each. Since its commercial operation, it has become that largest hydropower project in Province-7.

What they are saying:

  • “Despite the delay in the project, the completion of Chameliya Hydropower Project will help in the development of the far-western region”, said Kulman Ghising, executive director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), adding that the roads and other infrastructures constructed for the project will come very handy for the development of the area.
  • According to Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson at NEA, the completion of the project shows that far-western region has enough potential to be self-reliant on electricity.
  • “Currently, we are storing water during the day and night time when the demand for electricity is low and are operating the plant at the full capacity from 6pm-9pm and 6am-9am when the power demand is high,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, the NEA-appointed project chief. “From today [Saturday] on, however, we will generate electricity as instructed by the NEA load dispatch center as we have started the commercial production.”

The Backstory:

  • The construction of the Hydropower project had started in January 2008 and it was scheduled to be completed by June 2011.
  • The estimated cost at the time was Rs. 8 billion.
  • However, disputes between NEA and the contractors caused multiple delays thus resulting in its late completion.
  • The project cost has inflated to around Rs. 15 billion.

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