SONAM PENJOR | Thimphu
The annual budget report for Financial Year (FY) 2022-23, which was tabled by Finance Minister Namgay Tshering in the National Assembly on 6 June, states the government is exploring and developing more hydropower projects for which various studies have been initiated.
It further states that the detailed project report (DPR) preparation of the 2,640MW Kuri-Gongri Hydro Electric Project (HEP) is being undertaken with WAPCOS Limited, India as the chief consultant.
“The DPR preparation was expected to be completed by April 2021, however, due to complex geological conditions and given the size of the project scheme to prepare a bankable DPR, there is a need to carry out additional investigation studies for which additional funds and time extension is required,” the report states.
Further, the restrictions related to Covid-19 in the movement of foreign workers and materials, and the major hindrances faced at the project sites during the monsoon period, have significantly delayed the works at the site. However, the report states that it is expected to be completed in FY 2022-23.
Similarly, the DPR of Gongri HEP is being carried out by Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) through their own internal funding.
Considering the firm power capacity of the project, it is expected that the project would help in ensuring energy security and also aid in enhancing power needs to meet the increasing demand mainly being driven by industrial loads.
The report also states that the preparation of DPR of Dorjilung HEP has been undertaken by DGPC as part of capacity building in FY 2016-17 and has been identified as a potential project to be developed through trilateral/sub-regional cooperation. The DPR would be updated with the technical assistance of the World Bank.
While the preparation DPR of 404 MW Integrated, Nyeraamari HEP is in its final phase of completion and is being carried out by DGPC. To take forward the implementation, discussions are underway with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for potential funding.
The report also states that the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) of the Jerichhu Pumped Storage Power Plant was carried out in collaboration with the DGPC through their internal funding.
“The development of a reservoir pumped storage type, of the hydropower project would play a critical role in enhancing energy security, managing power deficits, and maintaining grid stability besides enabling industrial growth,” it states.
The DPR of Sankosh HEP has been approved by the Central Electricity Authority, Government of India (GoI) in August 2017 at an estimated cost of Nu 157,095.900 million.
The estimates include interest during construction and the financing charges. In addition, the government is still pursuing with GoI on implementation of the Project under IG mode.
Meanwhile, with the approval of the revised Sustainable Hydropower Development Policy by the government in March 2021, the Department of Hydropower & Power Systems (DHPS) has been mandated to study and prepare a national hydrogen roadmap.
According to the report, preparing the Hydrogen Roadmap has been initiated in-house and a dedicated team has been formed.