Bhutan seen generating 6,000 MW of hydro by 2020

The draft 10th Plan of Bhutan’s Department of Energy anticipates the construction of nearly a dozen hydroelectric projects to serve domestic needs and to export nearly 5,000 MW to India by 2020.

Bhutan’s Kuensel newspaper published an outline of the draft plan indicating India’s Himalayan neighbor would have to add about 350 MW per year for the next 12 years to fulfill an agreement with India for long-term cooperation on hydropower.

In 2007, India and Bhutan agreed to implement the 1,095-MW Punatsangchhu 1 hydroelectric project on Bhutan’s Punatsangchhu River. (HNN 7/24/07) That project is the fourth joint hydropower development by the two nations, following the 336-MW Chukha, 60-MW Kurichu, and 1,020-MW Tala projects.

According to the draft document, a detailed project report (DPR) has been completed for Punatsangchhu 1 (or Punatshangchhu 1) and pre-construction activity has begun. An agreement was signed in September 2006 to prepare DPRs for 990-MW Punatsangchhu 2, and 670-MW Mangdechhu on the Mangdechhu River.

Pre-construction activity also is reported begun for the 114-MW Dagachhu hydroelectric project. (HNN 4/20/07) Financing options are being explored, with possible financing from Austria and the Asian Development Bank.

Other hydro projects on the drawing board include 670-MW Chamkarchhu 1 and 570-MW Chamkarchhu 2 on the Bumthangchhu River, 485-MW Kholongchhu on the Drangmechhu River, 500-MW Amochhu on the Amochhu River, 210-MW Nikachhu on the Nikachhu River, 400-MW Rothpashong, and 4,060-MW Sunkosh.

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