Nepal awards contract for first large-scale pumped-storage hydropower project

Engineering firm Lahmeyer International GmbH and sub-consultant Manitoba Hydro International have been awarded a contract by Tanahu Hydropower Ltd. to provide a number of services associated with the development of the 140-MW Tanahu pumped-storage project in Nepal.

The deal calls for Lahmeyer and Manitoba Hydro International to review tenders, design and documents within its first year, followed by the award of construction contracts. Lahmeyer will then provide building and commissioning supervision during Tanahu’s six-year construction period, followed by operation assistance for the ensuing five years.

Tanahu will be located on the Seti River about 100 km from Kathmandu and will be Nepal’s first major pumped-storage hydropower plant, according to Lahmeyer. The project’s upper reservoir will be impounded by a 140-meter-tall gravity dam.

“The hydrological and topographical conditions in Nepal mean that, through the development of hydropower, the country will play a crucial role in supplying the Indian sub-continent with electricity,” the company said in a release. “[Tanahu] therefore fulfils a pioneering role for the future implementation of similar plants which will be developed to export electricity.”

Tanahu Hydropower Ltd. Is a special project company founded by the Nepal Electricity Authority. NEA announced earlier this month that it is seeking consultants to rehabilitate the 640-kW Sundarijal plant.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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