KATHMANDU: The 86-MW Solu Dudhkoshi hydropower project in the Solukhumbu district, is ready for testing. The project has started water filling to test the condition of the structure of the project. According to Him Pathak, chairman of constructed Sahash Energy Company Limited, the developer company, the project is sending water into the tunnel and penstock of the project. Pathak said it would take nearly a week to fill the main tunnel and penstock with water.
“After completing the construction of all structures, we have now reached the stage of generating electricity,” Pathak said. “We are filling water to test whether the condition of the structures and installed equipment is correct or not.”
Solu Dudhkoshi is the largest hydropower project completed by a private company with domestic investment. The project has a 7.654 km long main tunnel. After three and a half years of the construction period, the project has come to the stage of generating power. The Covid-19 pandemic, delays in the development of transmission lines (TL), and transport of equipment to the project sites rendered time overrun of the project.
The project had planned to start commercial operation between March and April last year. The electricity generated by the project is being connected to the national grid through the Tingla substation of the 132 KV Solu Corridor. “We are constructing the necessary TL linking to the substation.
One tower of the TL is yet to be constructed,” said Pathak. According to the company, after commissioning, Solu Dudhkosi will produce 520 Gigawatt hours of electricity annually.
This project is expected to cost around Rs 12 billion to complete. A consortium of nine banks, including the Nepal Investment Bank, have financed Rs 8.65 billion out of the total project of Rs 12 billion. In addition to Solu Dudhkosi, 82 MW Lower Solu, 19.8 MW Upper Solu, and 5 MW Junbesi are also under construction.