DGPC takes over Mangdechhu HEP

Handing over of the project between DGPC and MHPA. Pic: Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

KARMA CHIMI | Thimphu

The 720-Megawatt (MW) Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project was officially handed to Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), on 27 December this week.

The project was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering in August 2019.

Ever since it’s commissioning, the project has increased Bhutan’s electrical power generation capacity by 44 percent to 2,326 MW. The project has generated more than 9,500 million units of energy till date.

Speaking at the event, Loknath Sharma, the then Minister for Economic Affairs, expressed his gratitude to all the officials, engineers, designers, and workers for delivering the project on time.

“It is a day that Bhutan and DGPC takes over the project and a day to celebrate its successful completion and progress,” he said, adding that the project has immensely helped in the revenue generation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lyonpo also expressed his gratitude to the Government of India (GoI) for providing financial and technical support for the construction of the Project. He said the pandemic led to fall in revenues of key economic sectors, however, the commissioning of project led to an increase of 31% in hydropower revenues of Bhutan in 2020.

In 2021, Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project exported electricity worth Nu 12.13 billion to India, increasing Bhutan’s electricity exports to Nu 24.43 billion.

Ambassador Shri Sudhakar Dalela described the project as a ‘benchmark project’ which was completed in an optimal cost and timeframe. He also spoke of emphasis laid by the Government of India (GoI) in taking forward the India Bhutan renewable energy cooperation forward.

He said that GoI will continue to extend all possible support and cooperation in line with the bilateral inter-governmental agreement on Mangdechhu Project.

The Project was awarded the prestigious Brunel Medal, 2020 by the Institute of Civil Engineers, London as a recognition to its excellence in civil engineering and project’s social and environmental credentials. The project will reduce about 2.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

The handing-over of the ceremony was held in Thimphu and the documents were signed between the managing directors of Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project Authority and DGPC.

With the handing over of this project, both India and Bhutan have successfully completed four mega hydroelectric power projects, taking forward the six decades old hydropower cooperation.