Nepal adds 15 MW to national grid from Chameliya hydro project

Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has added 15 MW of power to Nepal’s national grid from its run-of-river 30-MW Chameliya hydropower project in Chameliya Valley. The project is located 950 km west of Kathmandu in the Far-Western Development Region of Mahakali Zone, in Darchula district.

According to the Kathmandu Post, an official from state-owned NEA said the project synchronized the first of its two 15 MW units to the national transmission line on Jan. 12. This test will take about three weeks and following its completion, the plant will bring the second unit online.

The project is being financed by South Korea’s Economic Development and Cooperation Fund and the government of Nepal.

Nepal originally announced the total cost for Chameliya would be about US$100 million and a commissioning date in June 2011. But, estimates now put costs at about $226 million due to delays from contract disputes, political unrest and geotechnical issues that stretched project development over nearly 10 years.

In March 2017, reported NEA announced repairs were completed on a 232-meter-long section of collapsed tunnel in the 4-km-long headrace tunnel at the project.

China’s Gezouba Group Corp. began main civil works in 2007 and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power of South Korea supplied and installed the facility’s electromechanical and transmission line equipment.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for

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