Upper Trishuli 3 ‘A’ Hydroelectricity Project sees light of day after a decade

Kathmandu, Nov 18: The Upper Trishuli 3 ‘A’ Hydroelectricity Project has come online after a decade, after its formal inauguration today. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun jointly inaugurated the 60-megawatt-capacity project, the former from the Action Room at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers in Singhadurbar and the latter from the project site at Simle, Kuspang Rural Municipality-5 in Nuwakot district.

The project lies in Rasuwa and Nuwakot districts. Two separate units of the Project – First and Second- each with the capacity of generating 30 megawatts power, have come online. Test production from the units had started on June 17 and July 2 respectively. The Project has started commercial production after its formal inauguration. It has taken more than a decade to come to this stage.

The project was delayed sometimes due to dispute over increasing its generating capacity from 60 megawatts to 90 megawatts while at other times due to lack of agreement whether to construct the powerhouse underground or above-ground. The estimated cost of the project was 14.43 billion (excluding the interest during the construction period).

The project latest cost has reached 17.32 billion, including Rs 2.89 billion interest during the construction period. It is constructed with the investment of the Government of Nepal and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) along with the concessional loan from the Chinese government. The Exim Bank of China provided a concessional loan of 125.8 million US Dollars for the construction of the project built on the ‘engineering, purchase and construction (EPC)’ model.

The project will run in full capacity for nine months of the year while generating 45 megawatts power during the winter, which is believed to further help keep the country’s electricity supply system balanced and reliable. It will meet about 7 percent of the country’s energy consumption.

This will support to conserving the water of the Kulekhani reservoir and decreasing the amount of electricity import. Under the ‘Project Support Programme’, the project has built eight school buildings, blacktopped and upgraded 11-kilometres road, implemented water supply system, upgraded the road leading to Trishuli Hospital, provided equipments to the hospital, constructed playgrounds and provided irrigation facilities in Rasuwa and Nuwakot where the project’s major structures are located and in Dhading and Kathmandu districts where the transmission line of the project passes through. The project has spent nearly Rs 400 million for this purpose, it is stated.