The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved investment for transmission component of Arun-3 hydropower Project (Nepal portion) for an estimated cost of Rs.1236.13 crore.
The approval relates to the 400kV D/C Diding (in Nepal) – Bathnaha (international border) via Dhalkebar (in Nepal) power transmission line of approximately 217 km falling within the territory of Nepal to evacuate power from the 900-mw Arun-3 HEP in Nepal. The investment of Rs.1,236.13 crore is estimated at 2017 price level.
Employment generation of around 400 persons is envisaged in construction of transmission component of the project. In May 2018, an MoU was signed with Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd for project management consultancy for execution of the 217-km transmission line.
The project will provide surplus power to India strengthening economic linkages with Nepal. The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India.
The Arun-3 hydropower project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha district of Eastern Nepal. The run-of-river scheme envisages about 70m high concrete gravity dam and head race tunnel (HRT) of 11.74 km with underground powerhouse containing four generating units of 225-mw each on left bank.
SJVN Ltd bagged the project through international competitive bidding. An MoU was signed between Government of Nepal and SJVN for the project in March, 2008 for execution on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period. The project development agreement (PDA) signed in November, 2014, which provides 21.9 per cent free power to Nepal for the entire concession period of 25 years.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in its meeting held in February 2017 had approved the investment proposal for generation component of Arun-3 HEP in Nepal for an estimated cost of Rs.5,723.72 crore at May 2015 price level.
The current installed generation capacity of SJVN is 2003.2 mw (comprising of 1912 mw hydro, 85.6 mw wind and 5.6 mw solar power). Besides, the Central PSU is in the process of implementing various projects, which are in different stages of development, which on completion will add an additional 4,018 mw of capacity.
The largest hydropower project in SJVNL’s portfolio is the 1,500-mw Nathpa Jhakri project in Himachal Pradesh, which is also the country’s largest operational hydropower plant.
Projects with a potential of 1,572 mw generation capacity are under construction, 1,848 mw under pre-construction & investment approval and 598 mw capacity is in the investigation stage. SJVN has envisaged internal growth targets of an installed capacity of 5,000 mw by 2022-23, moving to 12,000 mw by 2030 and 25,000 mw by 2040.
Featured photograph shows Arun River in Nepal whose waters will be harnessed by the 900-mw under-construction Arun-3 hydropower project.