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India gets power from Bhutan's Tala project

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Beneficiaries include northern region States

Anil Sasi

Project details


The project is

funded entirely by the Union Government with 60 per cent of the cost as grant and 40 per cent as loan at 9 per cent interest.

The loan

would be repayable in 12 equal annual instalments, the first payment starting July 31, 2006.

The total

energy output is pegged at 4,865 million units in an average year.

New Delhi, Aug. 16

New Delhi, Aug. 15

Power from the 170-MW first generating unit of the Rs 4,124-crore Tala project in Bhutan has started flowing into India from the beginning of the month with the remaining five units of the 1,020-MW project slated for commissioning shortly.

The beneficiaries include northern region States of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, according to allocation from the project finalised by the Centre.

The project on the Wangchu river in Bhutan, downstream of the operational Chukha Hydroelectric project, is funded entirely by the Union Government with 60 per cent of the cost as grant and 40 per cent as loan at 9 per cent.

The loan would be repayable in 12 equal annual instalments, the first payment starting July 31, 2006 the date of the commencement of the project's commercial operation.

The total energy output is pegged at 4,865 million units in an average year. The project includes a 92-metre-high concrete dam, a 22.2-km-long head race tunnel, and an underground power house with six generating units of 170 MW each, and three 440 kV single-circuit transmission lines to the India-Bhutan border.

The original commissioning schedule of September 2005 was later set to June 2006, mainly on account of delay in the excavation of the head race tunnel, which took about 20 months to construct instead of the original estimate of two months due to adverse geological conditions.

The State-owned Water and Power Consultancy Services Ltd designed the project, in association with the Central Electricity Authority, the Central Water Commission, Geological Survey of India and other Government-owned agencies.

A bilateral agreement for the execution of the project was signed in mid-1996, subsequent to which an eight-member Tala Hydro-electric Project Authority team chaired by Bhutan's Minister for Trade and Industry was constituted to oversee the monitoring and execution of the project. L&T, Hindustan Construction Company and Jaiprakash Industries Ltd were among the main civil contractors to the project and construction was kicked-off in October 1996. The transmission system associated with the project was executed by a Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd-Tata Power joint venture.

Bhutan currently supplies 270 MW from its Chukha Project (336 MW) and 40-45 MW from Kurichhu Hydro Project (60 MW) to the eastern region States. Power trading firm PTC Ltd is involved in getting power from the projects, including the Tala project.

Related Stories:
Cabinet panel clears revised cost for Tala hydel project

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 17, 2006)
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