Developer pledges improved safety at India’s 192-MW Allain Duhangan

Norway’s Statkraft Norfund Power Invest AS (SN Power) has pledged to improve safety conditions at the construction site of India’s 192-MW Allain Duhangan hydroelectric project, where 11 people have died in accidents over the past three years.

SN Power, which owns 43 percent of the project through Malana Power Co., conducted an audit in November of the run-of-river project being built on the Allain and Duhangan rivers in a rugged area of Himachal Pradesh State. (HNN 6/25/07) The project is being developed by AD Hydro, also owned 45 percent by LNJ Bhilwara Group and 12 percent by the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.

“We found that we had not been given full and complete information from the project company on all the fatal accidents that have taken place,” SN Power President Oistein Andresen said. “Two fatalities occurring in June have not been previously reported.”

SN Power said the project is in an area of rough and steep terrain with a high risk of rock falls, avalanches, and harsh climatic conditions. It said the majority of accidents were transport related, with others caused by rock falls, landslides, or avalanches.

SN Power said corrective measures are being taken and that it stepped up efforts to influence health and safety management and to prevent deficient reporting.

“We are ready to send an additional team of international experts in the fields of project management, health and safety, quality assurance, and tunneling, to strengthen and assist the project management,” Andresen said.

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