Print Edition - 2017-07-04 | MONEY
Chameliya likely to come online ahead of schedule
- The contractor recently completed the construction of a 47-metre-long rock trap in the tunnel
The Chinese contractor is working on a war footing and is already 15 days ahead of schedule
Jul 4, 2017-Long-delayed Chameliya Hydropower Project is likely to start generating electricity two months ahead of the deadline set by the government. China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the civil contractor for the plant, has agreed to advance the completion deadline by one month. This means the 30 MW project will be completed a month before its August deadline.
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, the contractor for the electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical works, has agreed to advance the completion deadline by a month, and if the civil contractor also finishes its task one month early, the project will go online in October, two months before its December deadline.According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the owner of the project, the Chinese contractor is working on a war footing and is already 15 days ahead of schedule.
“The contractor recently completed the construction of a 47-metre-long rock trap in the tunnel,” said Ajay Kumar Dahal, project chief of Chameliya. “As per the schedule, the construction was supposed to be completed in mid-July.” A rock trap is a pit built in the tunnel to capture sediment, pebbles and stones and prevent them from entering the turbines and damaging them.
Likewise, workers have plugged one of the three audit tunnels that were made while digging the 4-km main tunnel. Currently, the contractor is preparing to plug the
second audit tunnel and build a gate at the third. Considering the pace at which the
Chinese contractor has been working, it is highly likely that they will be able to advance the completion date by 15 more days, Dahal added.
Similarly, the Korean contractor for the project has speeded up construction work and has completed a successful dry test of the electromechanical equipment of the first unit, and is conducting a dry test of the second unit.
Once the project’s civil works are completed, the Korean company will start conducting a wet test of the plant and machinery. The Korean contractor has said that it will complete the test and have the project ready to generate electricity within two months after the plant is handed over to it after finishing the civil works.
Work at the construction site had been halted since May 2014 after the government refused to make an additional payment of Rs1.09 billion which the civil contractor had sought citing cost variance resulting from the squeezing of the tunnel. The contractor agreed to resume work after being summoned to the Energy Ministry and told to do so immediately by the then minister Janardan Sharma.
The NEA also agreed to release a provisional payment of the disputed bill before the issue was resolved in order to maintain a regular cash flow for the project. Once the dispute is settled, the contractor has to return the excess if it has been paid too much, and it will receive additional payment in case of a deficit.
Published: 04-07-2017 08:01