Norway firm wins hydro project studies contract in Bhutan

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) has awarded a 13.4 million kroner (US$2 million) contract to a Norwegian firm to perform pre-feasibility and reconnaissance studies of selected hydropower projects in Bhutan.

On behalf of Bhutan’s Department of Energy (DOE), NVE chose Norplan AS of Norway in a February solicitation for proposals. (HNN 2/13/09) The work is to be financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).

Norplan said the agreement covers pre-feasibility studies of the 325-MW Khomachhu and 400-MW Rotpashong hydroelectric projects in eastern Bhutan and reconnaissance studies of 15 hydropower sites with hydropower potential throughout Bhutan.

Under the Norad-funded Accelerated Hydropower Development Program, Norplan is to evaluate geological, geotechnical, and hydrological aspects of the hydro projects in addition to financial, economic, and environmental conditions.

Additionally, DOE would like to develop its own capacity for such studies, so DOE personnel are to participate in the consultant’s team and shall gradually take over responsibility during the studies. The work is to require 23 months.

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