Landslide hits five hydropower projects

  • Creates a shortfall of 66.5MW electricity in national grid
- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu
Landslide hits five hydropower projects

Aug 2, 2014-

The massive landslide in Sindhupalchowk district on Saturday that caused an abrupt interruption in the flow of the Sunkoshi River has hit five hydropower projects downstream.

According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), there will be shortfall of 66.5MW electricity in the national grid due to the landslide.

Power transmission from five hydropower projects—Bhotekoshi (45MW), Sunkoshi (10MW), Sanima Sunkoshi (2.5MW), Chaku (6MW) and Bhairabkunda (3MW) has been halted temporarily. In the current situation, the shortfall of 66.5MW electricity means an increment in load-shedding by one and half hours a day.

NEA said the landslide at Jure has swept away two gates of the Sunkoshi Power House headworks, according to NEA.

While the power house of Bhote Koshi is safe, electricity supply has been interrupted due to the damage caused in three of its transmission line towers. One of the towers was completely swept away in the landslide, while the remaining two have been partially damaged.

The power house of Sanima Sunkoshi Project has been submerged. “The power house and all equipment are under the water,” said Tuk Prasad Paudel, director of Sanima Hydropower Company.

Two other projects—Chaku and Bhairabkunda—too are out of order following problems in transmission line towers.

“The situation might turn worse if the river blocked by the landslide debris starts flowing with force. A possible flood might sweep away headworks of other power houses causing more losses,” said NEA officiating Managing Director Ram Chandra Pandey.

NEA is considering increasing electricity imports from India to neutralise the loss. “We are trying to increase imports from places like Raxaul and Kataiya of India to meet the demand,” said Pandey, adding how much energy will be imported from India will be finalised on Sunday.

Since the country has only one storage-type project, NEA has no other option, but to increase power imports.

“The water level in Kulekhani project is already low and operating it now might cause a big problem during the winter. Therefore, we have to rely on imports.”

Affected Projects

Name    Capacity  

Bhotekoshi     45 MW

Sunkoshi     10 MW

Chaku     6 MW

Bhairabkunda     3MW

Sanima Sunkoshi     2.5 MW

Total    66.5 MW

Published: 03-08-2014 09:45

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