First privately-run hydroelectric plant starts operation

Itahari, February 14: With the maiden operation of the Upper Khorunga Rivulet Small Hydroelectric Project on Thursday, the first privately-run hydroelectric project has been materialized in Terhathum, the eastern hilly district of Nepal. The 7.5-megawatt project of around Rs. 1.37 billion has started its operation from its powerhouse at Menchchyayem Rural Municipality-6, Kholakhet of Tehrathum.

The power generated from this project has been linked with the national grid through a sub-station of Nepal Electricity Authority located at Jirikhimti Bazar of Tehrathum. The much-anticipated project, run by Terhathum Power Company, has made Tehrathum self-reliant on electricity, said Laxman Tiwari, one of the investors of this only functional hydropower plant in the district.

”Based on current electricity demand in the district, Terhathum needs around three megawatts ”, said Tiwari, ”Our 7.5 megawatts of electricity will be surplus to export to other districts through the national grid,” Tiwari said the district wouldn’t face any load-shedding in the future. Terhathum Power Company had inked the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Nepal Electricity Authority in 2017. It had started the project construction since 30 January 2018 and completed within two years as specified in the PPA.

According to the company, it will generate Rs. 250 million per year by selling its power. Having already employed hundreds of human resources, the project will employ 15 permanent staff, Tiwari informed. This is the second hydroelectric project in the district. During Panchayat-era, a micro-hydroelectric plant named Khorunga Rivulet Micro Hydroelectric Project with a capacity of 130 kilowatts was built by Nepal Government. The first hydroelectric project came to a halt a decade ago. RSS

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