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NEA to finally connect Farwest hills to nat’l grid

  • The 132kV transmission line will be initially used to evacuate energy generated by 30MW Chameliya hydro project
- BIBEK SUBEDI, Kathmandu

Sep 3, 2017-The hilly areas in the Farwest region of Nepal are getting connected to the national power grid for the first time, as Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state-owned power utility, is launching operation of the 132kV Blanch-Attariya Transmission Line Project very soon.

The power utility is planning to conduct test of the recently built 131-km transmission line beginning Sunday. The transmission line connects Darchula with Attariya, the business hub of the far west. It will be initially used to evacuate energy generated by 30MW Chameliya Hydropower Project.

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, the contractor hired to build the transmission line, has brought a team of experts at the project site to begin the test. The team, according to NEA, will begin testing the line from a substation in Darchula.

“The Korean contractor will begin its work by conducting test of equipment placed at the substation,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, the chief of the transmission line project. “Equipment, like transformers, control panel and circuit breakers, among others, will be tested to see if they are functioning properly.” After the substation is tested, the Korean contractor will begin the test of 131-km power line by transmitting electricity through it. It will take couple of weeks to complete the test of the transmission line project, according to NEA. The power utility will then charge the transmission line and make other arrangements to bring it into operation before November. 

“If the Korean contractor completes the test successfully, we will immediately charge the power line,” said Dahal. “If everything goes as planned, the process of charging the line will be complete by the end of September.”  

The power line being developed under the financial aid of the Korean government will be crucial to evacuate more than 200MW of electricity being generated by different hydropower plants at various river basins in the Farwest region of the country. 

Although the project was supposed to be completed by 2014, various factors, including problems in acquiring private and forest land, pushed back the completion date. 

The 30MW Chameliya Hydropower Project will be the first hydro project to evacuate energy using the Blanch-Attariya power line. 

Currently, the same Korean company, which is also the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical contractor for the hydropower project, is preparing to conduct a wet-test of the plant and machinery installed by the hydropower project. The Korean contractor, according to NEA, will start filling the project’s 4-km tunnel with water before the Dashain vacation. The wet-test will begin immediately after the festival, according to NEA, the owner of the Chameliya project.

Published: 03-09-2017 08:45

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