Work resumes at 25-MW Upper Madi hydroelectric project

After a four-month delay, work resumed Jan. 28 on the US$58 million 25-MW Upper Madi hydroelectric project located in Sildujure, a town and Village Development Committee in Kaski District in the Gandaki Zone of north-central Nepal.

The most recent work stoppage resulted when fuel bound to power construction equipment at the site was held at Nepal boarder checkpoints during local labor disputes.

Work at the project was also briefly halted in April 2015 after a rockslide killed three laborers and buried 13 others in debris. The workers were eventually rescued after being trapped for about 15 hours.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in December 2012. Upper Madi is the first build operate transfer hydropower project in Nepal in which China International Water & Electric Co. (CWE) has invested, according to CWE.

CWE, a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corp., has an 80% stake in the project and Nepalese investors hold the remaining share.

Ramraj Koirala, project coordinator, said work resumed after fuel, construction materials and other necessary equipment arrived at the site. He also said 85% of project work, including excavation for a 4,200-meter-tunnel, has been completed.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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