Indian contractor starts work on Dhalkebar substation
KATHMANDU (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) - The NEA appointed Telmos Electronic of India to finish the partly completed 220 kV substation after firing the original contractor, a Chinese company, for delays.
The Indian contractor hired by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to complete the Dhalkebar substation has started work, the state-owned power utility said.The NEA appointed Telmos Electronic to finish the partly completed 220 kV substation after firing the original contractor, a Chinese company, for delays.
As per the Rs128 million contract signed with the NEA, Telmos Electronic is required to complete the substation within four months from the date of the agreement.
“Since the contract was signed on February 4, the Indian company has to complete the project by the first week of June,” said Radhe Sharan Mahato, the NEA appointed chief of the Dhalkebar Substation Project.
The Chinese contractor has largely finished the project, and only about 5 per cent of the work remains to be done.
Last September, the NEA fired Chinese contractor Central Power Grid International Economic and Trade Corporation after being fed up with its deliberate delays.
The company has completed 95 per cent of the construction work on the substation. Subsequently, the power utility published a global tender to select a contractor to complete the remaining work on the substation project.
As per the deal signed between the NEA and the Chinese company in June 2014, the substation should have been up and running by September 2015.
However, deliberate delays by the contractor led to the deadline being extended for the third time to May 31, 2017, but that deadline too passed after it halted construction without notification.
The Chinese contractor was awarded the contract worth an estimated $14.5 million and Rs650 million. According to the NEA, around 80 per cent of the money had been paid to the company before the contract was scrapped.
The substation at Dhalkebar is of strategic importance for the country as it allows the NEA to import more power from India through the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission during the dry season when electricity production by domestic hydropower projects drops.
Currently, the power utility can import up 160 MW of electricity from the cross-border power line. Once the substation at Dhalkebar is completed, the NEA will be able to import an additional 100 MW from India.
The substation will also be crucial to evacuate the power generated by the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project which is on the verge of completion. The surplus power produced during the wet season can also be exported to India through the power line.