Asia and Oceania, New Development, Project Activity

MoU signed to develop 48.8-MW Khimti II hydropower project in Nepal

Peoples Energy Public Ltd. (PEPL) of Nepal has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chongqing Water Turbine Works Company Ltd. (CWTW) to develop and construct the 48.8-MW Khimti II hydropower project located on Khimti Khola River in Nepal.

At the plant’s location, Khimti River forms the boundary between Ramechhap and Dolakha districts in the Central Development Region of Nepal.

According to an announcement on March 25, PEPL said the initial agreement was signed with CWTW in China earlier this month and an additional signing ceremony took place on Sunday in Nepal.

CWTW is a state-owned holding company based in China, and Peoples Energy Public Ltd., located in Kathmandu, was incorporated by Nepal’s Ministry of Energy in July 2016.

The project is being promoted by the private sector under an engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPCF) modality. PEPL said this is the first time a project in Nepal is being developed under EPCF modality.

Krishna Acharya, PEPL chairperson, said CWTW will invest about US$88 million in the project and construction is scheduled to begin in April with plant commissioning expected in July 2021.

The headworks are about 150 m downstream of the confluence of Jiri and Khimti Khola rivers with headrace alignment passing through the right bank. The headworks site will be located near Rasnalu village development committee (VDC is similar to a municipality) of Ramechhap district and the powerhouse will be located at Simlep, Hawa VDC of Dolakha.

Some of the project’s more notable planned features include:

  • A 5-m-high by 27-m-wide concrete ogee weir; 
  • An underground powerhouse on the right bank of Khimti Khola River containing two vertical axis Pelton turbines; 
  • An under-sluice with radial gate; 
  • Four intakes, each 2-m high by 3-m wide; 
  • A headrace tunnel that is 4-m wide by 4.25-m high by about 6,625-m long; and 
  • A tailrace via an underground tunnel from the Khimti II powerhouse to discharge into Khimti Khola River near the weir of 60-MW Khimti I hydropower project located downstream.

Within the past four months, Nepal has said it will revive the US$2.5 billion 1,200-MW Budhi Gandaki hydropower project and the Nepal Electricity Authority has added 15 MW of power to Nepal’s national grid from its run-of-river 30-MW Chameliya hydropower project in Chameliya Valley.