Consultant named for Bhutan power development

The Bhutan Ministry of Energy has awarded a US$1.45 million contract to help prepare a Bhutan Power Development project that includes the 114-MW Dagachhu hydroelectric project.

With US$1.6 million in funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Bhutan named Pricewaterhouse Coopers Pvt. Ltd. (India) in association with Nippon Koei Co. Ltd. (Japan) to help strengthen the hydropower sector and accelerate hydropower development. (HNN 2/8/07) The project also is to extend electricity to remote rural households, enhance regionwide energy efficiency, and advance cross-border economic cooperation.

The technical assistance is to prepare and strengthen comprehensive project design, feasibility assessment, financing plans, and implementation plans for three components:
o Rural electrification of 8,934 households;
o Interregional transmission links of 45 kilometers between Dhajay and Gelephu; and
o Development for power export of 114-MW Dagachhu, a run-of-river demonstration project with 19 kilometers of transmission to deliver power.

A total of 40 person-months of international consultants and 32 person-months of domestic consultants is required over 14 months. Work is expected to be carried out through May 2008.

A financial package is to be devised through public-private partnerships in which an optimal financing/guaranteeing scheme will be sought from public and private investors and lenders.

Bhutan has hydropower potential of 30,000 MW, of which about 5 percent is being used. However, most people in the country do not have access to electricity. The government intends to achieve 85.6 percent electrification by 2013 and to develop 5,000 MW of hydro generation for export to India by 2020.

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