US$184 million construction contract awarded for 86-MW Solu Khola hydroelectric project in Nepal

Sahas Urja Ltd. (SUL), on June 12, awarded Italian company, CMC Ravenna, a US$184 million contract to construct the 86-MW Solu Khola (Dudhkoshi) hydroelectric project on the confluence of Solu and Dudhkoshi rivers, located about 81 miles southeast of Kathmandu, in Nepal.

Him Prasad Pathak, Sahas Urja executive chairman, and Salvatore Casciaro, director of CMC Asia, signed the contract for the run-of-river facility on June 12, according to SUL.

An 11-bank consortium, led by Nepal Investment Bank, will provide loans for 73% of the expected cost and the remaining 27% will be in form of equity, according to SUL.

CMC has already commenced tunnel construction and the facility is scheduled for commissioning in three years.

“Our main objective is to complete the construction within the given deadline and start generating electricity produce electricity within September 2020,” said Pathak, during the signing ceremony.

According to SUL, the project’s major structures will include a diversion weir, under sluice, intake, gravel trap, approach tunnel, underground settling basin, headrace tunnel, surge shaft, underground inclined pressure shaft and horizontal penstock pipe, semi-surface powerhouse and surface tailrace channel.

Energy generated from the project will be transmitted via Nepal Electricity Authority’s proposed Tinla substation at Lammane and grid-connected to the Integrated Nepal Power System.

Nepal is also developing hydropower facilities in other parts of its country.

On March 23, China-based Zhejiang Hydropower Construction and Installation Co. began construction of the civil, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works for the 30-MW Nyadi hydropower project on Nyadi River at Bahundanda of Lamjung in Nepal. The $88.3 million project is located in Western Nepal.

In March, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs announced today it has approved investment for the generation component of the 900-MW Arun 3 hydropower project on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha district of eastern Nepal, for an estimated $854.4 million.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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