KATHMANDU: The Construction of the diversion tunnel of the 216 MW Upper Trishuli-1 (UT-1) run-of-the-river hydroelectric project in Rasuwa District has been completed.
UT-1 is the largest hydroelectric Project under construction with foreign direct investment for domestic consumption in Rasuwa District. It has successfully constructed a full concrete lining diversion tunnel with 420-meter length and 5-meter diameter. The Trishuli river has been diverted via a diversion tunnel on 28 February 2023 to commence the construction activities of the head works.
Mr. Tae Hak Yoon, CEO of Nepal Water and Energy Development Company, stated that the river diversion is a significant achievement in constructing the UT-1. The Project has made progress by completing a 4.5 km excavation of the 13.5 km tunnel, which includes the headrace, adit, and tailrace tunnel. The excavation work of the underground powerhouse has advanced by 21%, and the overall progress rate of the Project is 14%. The team is striving to complete the Project within December 2026.
The Project’s main construction started in January 2022 and is estimated to complete in December 2026. Approximately 700 workers work at the construction site, including 300 local residents from Project affected Rasuwa district. Doosan Eneribility is the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the Project.
The 647.34 million USD (including Interest during Construction) project is financed through 70 percent debt and 30 percent equity. The project partners will provide an equity investment of 194.20 Million USD. In comparison, the debt of 453.12 million USD is being provided by a group of international lenders, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Korean Exim Bank (K-EXIM), Korean Development Bank (KDB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), FMO (The Netherlands), the British International Investment (BII), Proparco (France), and the OPEC fund for
International Development (OFID).
The shareholders of NWEDC include Korea South-East Power Company Limited, Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation, International Finance Corporation, and a local Nepalese partner. In the future, the Project affected communities will be made available a right to apply for 10% of shares of the Project. UT-1 is expected to generate up to 1,533 GWh of electricity. Out of the total annual energy generated by the Project, 38.75 percent will be generated during the dry season, which is higher than most of the other run-of-the-river hydropower projects in Nepal, thus contributing vastly to
managing the dry season electricity shortfall.
The Project is very attractive for the country’s power system as it is close to the Kathmandu Load Center and will get 104 MW of electricity even in the dry season with high electricity demand. The generated energy will flow to the national grid by connecting it to the Trishuli-3B hub substation the Nepal Electricity Authority is constructing.