Thursday, January 10, 2008

Upper Tamakoshi Hydro Project (309MW)

Upper Tamakoshi hydro project of 309 MW is going to be built. The board meeting of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) decided to finance the project as principal investors. The highly attractive and low-cost project had been awaiting decision on its fate from the Employees' Provident Fund and Nepal Electricity Authority for long. The EPF agreed on Monday to invest a total of Rs 12 billion – Rs 10 billion in loan and two billion in shares, following the consent of the Ministry of Finance to invest on the Tamakoshi project. As the EPF has decided to invest, Citizen Investment Trust (CIT), different banks and Rastriya Beema Sansthan (RBS) also are joining in for the hydel project.The peaking run-of-river project Upper Tamakoshi that has 309 MW capacity is estimated to cost around Rs 27.44 billion. "Out of which 70 per cent will be invested jointly by NEA and EPF and 30 per cent would be raised by floating shares to the people and financial institutions — Citizen Investment Trust, Rastriya Beema Sansthan and other financial institutions," said chief of the project Mrigendra Bahadur Shrestha. The first phase of the hydro project will generate 309 megawatt and in next ten years it will be upgraded to 556 Megawatts, said project chief Shrestha. "If, the project kicks-off in 2009, it will be completed by 2019," he said, adding that the project will take 10 years to complete. The project will float 10 per cent of the shares to the locals of Dolakha district, where the project is being constructed.

The ownership pattern of the project NEA

— 51 per cent EPF
— 20 per cent Dolakha residents
— 10 per cent General public
— 10 per cent NEA employees
— 5 per cent Financial Institutions
— 4 per cent others stakeholders


Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectricity Project is situated in Dolakha district, Janakpur zone in Central Development Region. It is a picking run of river type of project which has 309 Megawatt, and annual productive capacity is 1737.7 Gig watt per hour. Although demand of energy is very high in Nepal, existing Power houses have not been able to supply enough energy therefore; this project needs to be in action as soon as possible. Research shows that it will be the low cost hydroelectricity in Nepal. Norwegian Consultancy, Norconsult AS has studied the possibilities of the project in May 2005. According to the research, the total investment of the project is $340 million and productive investment for unit is 2.6 US Cent likewise 2.2 is B/C ratio. This project will be accomplished in 2012/13. Nepali labour, skill and investment if applied in the project, it would be significant step for the development of the country.

2. Project Spot:

The Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectricity Project lies in the Upper Himalayan ranges–South part of Lamabagar VDC. The dam spot is 1 km north from the Upper Lamabagar village and 6 km south from the Chinese border, likewise 31 km north from the Charikot – the district headquarter of Dolakha. Underground power house is situated in Gongar village near to the meeting point of Tamakoshi river and Gongar Khola. 61.5 km entrance road is needed to reach in the project spot where as 33 km long gravel road is running to reach Singati, a local market and 28.5 km long road is constructing from Singati to Lamabagar.

3. Study of possibility and attractive aspect of project:

This project was identified by the Koshi River Water Resources Development Master Plan of JICA in 1985 showed the venue of TA-6 project (113 MW). Then after, pre possibilities of the project was analysed in 1999. Nepal Electricity Authority had analysed the possibilities of the project and completed the first phase study in 2001.
This project seemed very beneficial economically and environmentally. It was therefore recommended for the second phase study. Hence, Norwegian consultant, Norconsult AS has studied the extended possibilities of the project in assistance with Norwegian Government in May, 2005.


Following are the major attractive aspects of the project.
· Hundreds of years ago, there was a huge landslide and natural dam was
created which is about 300 m high and formed 4.5km long bank. While constructing to build 7.17 km tunnel under this 300m natural dam, 820 m water head was found.

· Because the project is located in high mountain range, it has sound geophysical structure.
· Tamakoshi is originated from the glaciers, which makes the constant flow of water even in the dry season.
· Low level of sediment in rainy season.
· Less effects in the environment.
· The cheapest in per unit electricity product amongst all the hydroelectricity projects of Nepal.



A dam of 22.5m high and 60m length will be made for electricity production in Lamabagar, Tamakoshi River. Desanding Basin is used to remove sand from water, and filtered water will be flown through Headrace Tunnel and then to Penstock towards the underground electricity station. The length and breath of two Desanding Basins will be 246m and 52m respectively. The length of main tunnel will be 7170m and "U" shaped diameter will be 5.82m likewise the length of Penstock will be 2055m.
The power station will be located in the Gongar village near the meeting point of two rivers Tamakoshi and Gongar River. The length of power station 112.8m and breadth and height will be 12.9m and 32m respectively. There will be 4 Peltan Turbine in the power station. Discarded water will be sent again in Tamakoshi River through the Tailrace Tunnel. It is located 2 km south from the Gongar village.


Entrance road is one of the important aspects to accomplish the project. 61.5 km entrance road is needed to reach the project spot. The entrance road will be made into two phases. Track road having 4.5m width will be made in the first phase whereas the road from Lamabagar to Dolakha will be upgraded.

This road is divided in two phases:

A) Dolakha- Singati road: 33 km ( Fair weather, motor able road)
B) Singati- Lamabagar: 28.5 (Constructing)

A) Dolakha- Singati road: This part of the entrance road has been made by rural community Infrastructure Development Program. But upgrading of the road is necessary in which construction of bridges, culverts, support walls, maintenance of turning points and appropriate management of gradient will be done.

B) Singati- Lamabagar part: The construction of this part of the road is going on from the Singati, a village of Lamidada VDC through Laduk, Bulung, Khare, Orang in the bank Sunkoshi River to Lamabagar. Two steel bridges should be constructed in Jamune and Jagat. All together 6 new bridges should be constructed in entrance road.

5. Supply line:

Generated electricity of this project will be linked in the Khimti sub station through 47km long, 220 Kilovolt double circuit supply line. Then it will be linked 75 km long Khimti-Dhalkebar electricity supply line to the national electricity supply line. It will be constructed by Nepal Electricity Authority.

6. Cost of project:
The total cost of the project will be $340 million according to the research. It includes the construction of entrance road and electricity supply line from power station to Khimti sub station. Interest during contrition-IDC and other financial expenditures are not included. The generated electricity costs 2.6.US cent per unit and B/C ratio will be 2.2.

7. Environment impacts evolution study:

Environment impacts assignment of Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectricity Project production and supply is submitted to the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology which has already accepted. The study of EIA shows very less negative impact on the physical environment whereas moderate impact lie in biological, social, economical and cultural heritage. The outstanding features of this project are high head, natural dam, underground power house, less effects on human settlement. This project will affect the following land.

The chart shows that 49.2 hectors fertile land will be abducted permanently out of 337 hector lands.

On the basis of the research, the following ideas are proposed to reduce the environment effects of the project.

· Not to use unnecessary area of land.
· Bio-engineering and supporting walls should be development to control landslides and soil erosion.
· To adopt the different steps to reduce air and sound pollution.
· Appropriate management of stones, pebbles and soil as and when produced on construction of tunnel, power station.
· To establish a micro-nursery.
· To develop fish keeping 1.3 cube metric water should be flown.
· To reduce the demand of firewood and wood product, alternative energy should be managed.
· Establishment of cut-price shops.
· To provide employment opportunity to the local people.
· To provide clean drinking water and programmes on community health and sanitation should be conducted.
· Primary health care and awareness on prevention of accidents should be widely advertised.
· Tourism information centre should be established during the project duration in Singati.

8. Advantages of project:

· It helps to increase employment opportunities.
· It assists to establish new industries.
· It helps to establish local market and local products will get market opportunities.
· Rural electrical management will be improved.
· To assist tourism industry.
· It helps to coordinate communication sectors, NGOs and INGOs to bring positive changes in socio-economic aspects.
· It assists to maintain the living standard of local people from the compensation given by the project.
· It helps to increase national economy of the country.
· It will make regular supply of electricity as a part of national electricity system.

9. Implementation of the project:

The research shows that the project will be implemented amid one of the followings.
· Public sector ownership
· NEA-private partnership

9.1 Public sector ownership:
Many hydroelectric projects in Nepal like Kali Gandaki-A, Marshyangdi, Modi Khola, Kulekhani etc are accomplished in this model. A matching fund will have to be established by the NEA and the government where as multinational bank and donor agencies will help to providing soft loan and grant. Local public funds will be used in this model.

9.2 NEA-private partnership:
Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project will run through the NEA-private partnership to mobilize Nepalese capital and human resources as much as possible. Total cost of the project will be reduced if the Nepalese capital and human resources is mobilised.

10. Present status of the project:
The entrance road is prioritized for the successful accomplishment of the project. Out of 28.5 km, 24.5km entrance road is divided into 4 main parts for the construction and has already started its work. Two office buildings in Lamabagar dam spot and Gongar are already constructed. Necessary procedures for financial support are being headed towards its goal. 90 percent of compensation for the owners of the land is already attributed.


Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectricity Project is the most attractive project in socio- economic and environmental aspects amongst all other hydroelectric projects in Nepal. A very high dam should not be constructed and major structural constructions are underground, hence there is less effect in environment. The cost of the project is cheaper than the Kaligandaki project which costs $340 million and its capacity is half less than Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectricity Project. It therefore, is very economically significant project.
High demand of electricity in Nepal and the status of hydroelectric projects show that these projects will run very soon to use the Nepal's internal uses. To start the project, the entrance road will be constructed very soon as NEA has already begun it.
Mobilizing Nepalese capital and human resources, it will be the milestone for the development of Nepal. It can fulfil increasing demand of electricity and it can make a space in foreign market to export the Nepalese resources.



  1. Dear blogger,
    Thanks for putting useful information about Upper Tamakoshi.
    I wish you all the best for the successful completion of the project.


  2. Thanks!
    I guess this info. will help to aid Nepal and Nepalese.
    And most importantly my tomorrow's semester exam!
    Wish you guys all the best!