Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned Unit 1 of the 336-MW Chhukha hydroelectric project (HEP), following complete renovation and modernization of the generator.
Chhukha (also called Chukha) is a run-of-river project on the Chhukha River in Bhutan and was originally commissioned in the 1980s. These generators were originally supplied and commissioned by BHEL. Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), which owns and operates the project, placed a renovation and modernization order for the Chhukha hydro power plant for replacement of the Unit 1 and 3 generator stator and rotor coils.
The renovated and modernized Unit 3 was commissioned last year.
“We appreciate the efforts made by BHEL experts towards this R&M work which has led to result-oriented performance and we look forward to continued support from BHEL in future,” DGPC said in its commendation letter.
According to the International Hydropower Association, Bhutan has a population of 765,000, with installed hydropower capacity (in 2015) of 1,615 MW and hydropower generation (in 2015) of 7,780 GWh annually. IHA says Bhutan has very high hydropower potential, with about 23,760 MW identified as economically feasible.
An annual report released in early 2017 by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan said hydropower, one of the country’s “Five Jewels,” accounted for 32.4% of the country’s total exports and 8% of its gross domestic product.