Bhutan rural electrification includes hydro component

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) invites expressions of interest from consultants to carry out a rural electrification program in Bhutan featuring renewable energy pilot programs including mini-hydropower projects. Responses are due March 31.

ADB approved US$700,000 in technical assistance for rural electrification in Bhutan, with US$300,000 of the total to be provided as a grant from the government of Finland.

The bank said consultants would be employed to bring knowledge, experience, and international best practices to Bhutan. Fourteen person-months of international consultants and 36 months of domestic consultants are to be contracted beginning in July.

With total installed capacity of 469 MW and maximum domestic demand of 116 MW, Bhutan is a net power exporter. However, its mountainous terrain and the difficulty in expanding the electricity network has held the country’s electrification rate to about 50 percent.

Under the ADB technical assistance, consultants are to: develop detailed rural electrification plans; formulate various renewable energy models for grid-connected and off-grid applications, including hydropower options; develop and implement pilot projects; and assess lessons learned.

Expressions of interest may be submitted via the ADB Internet site, www.adb.org, under Opportunities/Business Opportunities/Proposed Projects/Bhutan. The ADB project officer is Kaoru Ogino, Financial Specialist/Energy Sector Specialist, Asian Development Bank, P.O. Box 789, 0980 Manila, Philippines; (63) 2-6326211; E-mail: kogino@adb.org. For information contact Bharat Tamang, Head, Planning and Coordination Division, Bhutan Department of Energy, Thimphu, Bhutan; (975) 2-325097; E-mail: btyonzen@yahoo.com.

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