10th Oct, 2007

Bhutan: Punatsangchu early kick-off

Punatsangchu early kick-off To kick-start the country’s biggest hydroelectric project, the 1,095 Megawatt (MW) Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Project Authority (PHPA), the governments of India and Bhutan have agreed to appoint the management of Tala project to take over the new project.

This was decided during the first PHPA meeting among the project authority members in Thimphu on October 8.

PHPA members from India comprise Mr N Bala Baskar, additional secretary for external affairs ministry, Ms Preeti Saran, joint secretary (north) and Mr Jayant Kawale, joint secretary (hydro) under power ministry. The members from Bhutan are trade and industry secretary, Dasho Sonam Tshering, the director general, bureau of law and order, Dasho Tshering Wangda, Wangdue dzongda, Phub Tshering and Kuenga Tshering, representing the private sector.

According to the leader of the Indian delegate, Mr N Bala Baskar, in order to get the project off the ground sooner, there was an urgent need to have a set of management team first.

Mr Baskar said that since the Tala management team had gained enormous experience working in Bhutan and knew how to implement such complex mega projects, the authority decided to engage the Tala team to carry out all preliminary work and start off the project.

The director general of the energy department, Yeshi Wangdi, said that the idea behind appointing management of Tala as an interim management to start off the project was because the management was already in place, they were highly experienced, had the expertise and all the required resources including the design team and consultants.

To kick-start the country’s biggest hydroelectric project, the 1,095 Megawatt (MW) Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Project Authority (PHPA), the governments of India and Bhutan have agreed to appoint the management of Tala project to take over the new project.

This was decided during the first PHPA meeting among the project authority members in Thimphu on October 8.

PHPA members from India comprise Mr N Bala Baskar, additional secretary for external affairs ministry, Ms Preeti Saran, joint secretary (north) and Mr Jayant Kawale, joint secretary (hydro) under power ministry. The members from Bhutan are trade and industry secretary, Dasho Sonam Tshering, the director general, bureau of law and order, Dasho Tshering Wangda, Wangdue dzongda, Phub Tshering and Kuenga Tshering, representing the private sector.

According to the leader of the Indian delegate, Mr N Bala Baskar, in order to get the project off the ground sooner, there was an urgent need to have a set of management team first.

Mr Baskar said that since the Tala management team had gained enormous experience working in Bhutan and knew how to implement such complex mega projects, the authority decided to engage the Tala team to carry out all preliminary work and start off the project.

The director general of the energy department, Yeshi Wangdi, said that the idea behind appointing management of Tala as an interim management to start off the project was because the management was already in place, they were highly experienced, had the expertise and all the required resources including the design team and consultants.
“The advantage is that we will be gaining about 12 months, because we would be saved from having to identify and appoint the managing director and his team,� he said, adding that the Tala project management would take over the pre-construction work on the Punatsangchu project, which was undertaken by the energy department since May this year.

The authority agreed to meet for a second round sometime in the first week of December in Delhi to finalise the launch of the project. Yeshi Wangdi said that they would be able to begin the project within December this year.

But before that, the Punatsangchu project team would have to present their work plan, after preparing a detailed report and completion of surveys, to the authority during the second meeting.

The Tala management, Yeshi Wangdi said, would have to immediately gear up with only about two months left to mobilise themselves.

He said that the new management would present the programme details, fund requirement and priority areas, while continuing pre-construction works.

The authority also decided on the work programme and how the fund would be released. With regard to the modulation of fund release, the project’s chairman, Lyonpo Leki Dorji, said that they would follow that of the Tala project. “That model was satisfactory,� he said.

Of the total Nu 35,148 million, which would be released by the Indian government, 40 percent would be provided as grant assistance and the remaining 60 percent would be given on loan at 10 percent interest rate in 12 installments after the project becomes operational.

The project, which is located between 8.50 kilometres and 18.50 kilometres downstream of Wangduephodrang bridge, is expected to take about seven years to complete.

Kurichu power tariff revision overdue

The first meeting of the Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Project Authority (PHPA) also discussed the need to revise the Kurichu power tariff which, according to the Department of Energy officials, was necessary and long overdue.

Trade and industry officials said that the tariff was supposed to be revised in 2005 but could not be followed up on. The issue was later raised in a meeting some two months ago in New Delhi.

“This is a follow-up of that discussion,� said an official from the energy department. Although the PHPA members could not come to a decision on the issue during the meeting on October 8, ministry officials said that they expected a revision during the next meeting, coinciding with the second PHPA meeting in New Delhi.

“The Kurichu hydroelectric project is not doing very well in terms of its financial performance, and we don’t want to provide subsidy for operation of this project,� said a trade and industry official. “The tariff needs to be raised.�

Kurichu’s performance report showed an accumulated loss of about Nu 170 million. Trade officials said that the project failed to generate as much power and revenue as expected because of poor hydrology.

India’s additional secretary for external affairs ministry, Mr N Bala Baskar, said that India, as a growing economy, required whatever power it could get and Bhutan was bestowed with that natural resource.

“Some revenue will be generated for Bhutan, and Indian people will get power,� said Mr Baskar, adding that the power that India buys from Bhutan should be at stable prices, because the two countries made a long term commitment to each other, that of investing in Bhutan’s hydroelectric power projects.

“We have committed to buy some 5,000 MW of power or so from Bhutan by 2020,� Mr. Baskar said. Source: Kuenselonline

Responses

I am Dal Bahadur Rai who recently completed B.Tech I.T from Vellore Institute of Technology with CGPA of 8.29.
Sir/Madam, if there is any slot for recruitment or any vacancies that is likely to appear soon for software builder or any related job, I would be glad to hear from you.

Your’s faithfully
dal bahadur rai
contact no:17364207

Leave a response

Your response: