Saturday, August 5, 2017

Contractor okays Dhalkebar project October deadline

The Central Power Grid International Economic and Trade Corporation (CCPG) – that is constructing 220 kV Substation Project at Dhalkebar – has pledged to meet the deadline of October 2017 after a high level team led by energy minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi directed the Chinese contractor.
On the occasion, project manager of CCPG Geng Jialing, said that the project can be completed within the next two months, if the contractor is provided necessary resources promptly. "The government should also assure working environment in the project site," he said.
A high-level team led by energy minister included energy secretary Anup Kumar Upadhyay and NEA managing director Kulman Ghising. They visited the construction site today and asked the Chinese contractor to start the construction work at war footing to complete the job on time. Responding to the team's direction, the contractor agreed to meet the deadline of October 2017.
The monitoring team had also concluded that though almost 80 per cent of the construction work was completed, the remaining work was delayed due to lack of coordination between the contractor and the consultant company of the project regarding bill payments and cable trench.
The representative of Power Grid Corporation of India – the consultant of the project – on the occasion also agreed to provide final drawing of the cable trench required for the project to the contractor to expedite the construction.
Earlier, the contractor had stopped all the work at the construction site a couple of weeks ago without formally informing Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Although, the Chinese contractor resumed the construction of crucial substation a week later, it was carrying out the work at a snail’s pace, raising doubts over project completion well before the dry season to enable the country to increase electricity imports from India.
NEA managing director Ghising, on the occasion, said that CCPG should complete the Dhalkebar substation project by the October deadline as project carries national significance.
As NEA had terminated the contract of CCPG, which was also working in the Bharatpur-Bardaghat transmission line on June 5, the contractor had begun showing dissatisfaction with NEA by delaying work at the Dhalkebar substation project, which was supposed to be completed by early 2017.
Promising to solve as soon as possible, Minister Shahi asked the contractor to report any work related problems immediately from the project level directly to him.
If the project is not completed by October, it will hit the power utility’s plan to increase electricity imports from India via Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line during the dry season.
The state-owned power utility has repeatedly said it will be difficult to keep the country load-shedding free during the dry season, if the substation at Dhalkebar is not completed on time. The country's power demand is expected to increase by around 200 MW then.
Even though the installed capacity of domestic hydroelectricity is expected to go up by additional 130MW during next dry season, power generation is expected to drop by a third around that time when water level goes down in most of the river basins.
If the 220 kV sub-station is built at Dhalkebar by that time, the country can import another 100 MW of power from India theough Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line.
Currently, the cross-border transmission line has the capacity to import 160 MW of electricity only. According to agreement signed between NEA and the Chinese company in June 2014, the sub-station should have been up and running by September 2015. But the deadline has been repeatedly pushed back. The October deadline was extended recently.
The CCPG and NEA had signed the Dhalkebar substation project contract on June 12, 2014 with a target to complete it within 15 months.

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