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Chameliya Hydel Project: Successful dam test raises hope of early output

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 7, 2017-

The Chameliya Hydropower Project has achieved major breakthrough after it conducted a successful test of its dam on Friday. Project officials, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), filled the dam with water to check if its structure is robust enough to hold the water which will be used to generate electricity. 

The 30-MW run-of-the-river type project started channeling water from Chameliya River into the dam from Friday afternoon and there was no sign of seepage from the dam or components of dam like intake and radial gate. “The test has been successful so far,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, project chief of Chameliya Hydropower. “We are now conducting test of desanding basin on Sunday.” 

The desanding basin in hydropower project is a structure built to remove sand from the cannel before it travels to the plant via intake gate. 

With the successful test of the dam, major civil works of the project have been completed, and currently China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the civil contractor for the project, is plugging three audit tunnels that were dug while digging the four-km-long main tunnel. Likewise, it is also constructing a 47-meter-long rock-trap in the tunnel. A rock-trap is pit built in the tunnel to sediment the pebbles and stones to ensure turbines and other equipment are not damaged.  

Meanwhile, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, the contractor of electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical works of the project, is planning to begin a dry test of the plants and machineries on May 15. During the dry test, electricity is passed through various equipment connected as the system and checked if any of the part is malfunctioning. 

Generally, it takes around one and a half month to complete the dry test. At present, the Korean contractor, according to the NEA, is installing major plants and machineries to conduct the dry test.    

The Korean contractor has agreed to advance the completion deadline by one month. This means the hydropower plant in the Far Western Region will come online a month earlier in November. Likewise, the NEA has been holding talks with the CGGC, the civil contractor for the project, to complete the civil works a month ahead of schedule in August. If the Chinese contractor agrees, the project will be completed in October.  As the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical contractor has agreed to complete the installation and tests within two months after the civil contractor completes its job, the project will come online in October if the Chinese contractor agrees to the NEA’s proposal.

The Chinese civil contractor, which resumed work in October 2016 after a two-year break, has increased expedited work. 

The construction of the project had been stalled since May 2014 after the government refused to make an additional payment of Rs1.09 billion which the contractor had claimed as cost variance due to a squeezing of the tunnel.

Published: 07-05-2017 09:24

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