Land to be allocated for the Tanahu hydropower reservoir in Nepal.

The Government of Nepal has decided to provide 19,600 ropanis of land for the development of the Tanahu reservoir hydroelectricity project in Tanahu district. The Cabinet meeting held on August 15 decided to provide the land to develop the 140-megawatt project.

According to the Ministry of Land Reform and Management (MoLRM), the Tanahu Hydropower Ltd (THL) has been provided the authority to use 150 ropanis of land as per the Land Acquisition Act 1977 and an additional 19,450 ropanis is being provided by the government.

As per the land act, in hilly areas industries and projects are allowed to acquire only 75 ropanis of land, however the government can provide more land as per the need of projects.

Most of the land being acquired by Tanahu hydropower will be utilised to construct access road, guesthouse, office and transmission line.

According to Sachen Gautam, communication expert at THL, the government has provided the additional land for the project after studying the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and initial environment examination (IEE) reports. “Based on the EIA and IEE reports, the project requires 19,500 ropanis of land to construct dam, powerhouse and tunnel, among others and 100 ropanis to build transmission line,” he informed.

THL has already acquired 150 ropanis of land in Tanahu to construct access road, guesthouse and offices and it will acquire more land as soon as possible as per the rules set by the government. The project is currently distributing compensation amount to the people affected in the site area.

The project has estimated that it will have to distribute a total of Rs 670 million as compensation to the affected people and out of the estimated total it has already distributed Rs 470 million.

To facilitate the construction process of the project local consultation forums have been formed in the four affected local levels of Tanahu district, namely Byas and Vimad municipalities and Rising and Myagde rural municipalities.

THL is in the final stage of contractor selection process. The project has planned to finalise the selection process within October and begin the construction process as soon as possible.

It has forwarded the technical proposal of the contractor to Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for consent. ADB and JICA have already committed to invest in the project.

The first package of the bidding will be approved by ADB and the second will be approved by JICA. Diverting the river course and construction of a dam are the major works related to the first package and construction of tunnel and powerhouse, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works, equipment import and operation are in the second package.

After finalising the technical proposal, THL will open the financial proposal received from the contractors who are bidding for the project.

The estimated cost to construct the project is Rs 50 billion that includes the interest that needs to be paid for the loans taken and for rural electrification programme. The investors in the project are the government, Nepal Electricity Authority, ADB, JICA and the European Investment Bank.

About the project

Tanahu Hydropower Limited (THL) is a subsidiary company of NepalElectricityAuthority(NEA) established in 2012 to develop 140 MW Tanahu Hydropower Project (“the Project”) (formerly, Upper Seti Hydropower Project). The Project site is situated 150 km west of Kathmandu on Seti River near Damauli of Tanahu District in Gandaki Zone.

The Project is the storage type hydropower project with the capacity of 140MW with an estimated average annual energy generation of 587.7 GWh (Years 1-10) and 489.9 GWh (Year 11 onwards). The Project is situated on Seti river of Vyas municipality near Damauli, the district headquarter of Tanahun District. Eight VDCs and Vyas municipality of Tanahun district are directly affected by the project. The estimated cost of the Project is US$ 505 million.

The main components of the Project are 140 m high concrete gravity dam with crest length of 175m on the Seti River and reservoir with a total surface area of 7.26 km2. The elevation of Full Supply Level(FSL) is 415m above sea level. The waterway consists of 7.4 m diameter and 1,203m long headrace tunnel on the right bank for the river. An underground powerhouse measuring 27m wide x 46m high x 97m long will be built approximately 6 km (along the river course) downstream of the dam site. A 190 m long tailrace tunnel will discharge the tail water back into the Seti River. Two permanent and primary access roads (totaling 7.3 km) and several temporary and secondary access roads will provide access to the Project area. Temporary facilities include contractor’s camps, equipment and maintenance yard, office areas, project staff’s camp area, Construction Power Sub-station etc.

The project area covers 8 Village Development Committees (VDCs) and Vyas Municipality. The VDCs are (i) Chhang, (ii) Majhkot, (iii) Bhimad, (iv) JamuneBhanjyang, (v) Kotdarbar, (vi) RishingRanipokhari, (vii) SabhungBhagawatipur, and (viii) KahuShivapur. The Vyas Municipality, with Damauli Town as district headquarter of Tanahun district, is a major urban settlement. The reservoir will extend about 25 km upstream inundating the low-lying lands (415 m) along the Seti River. The Project will also include Rural Electrification (RE) and Transmission Lines (TL) component. A new 220 kV double circuits TL will evacuate the generated power to the new Bharatpur Substation.The length of the transmission line corridor is 37 km. Additionally, The Project will electrify 18 VDCs through its Rural Electrification (RE) Program.

THL signed the contract agreement with M/S Lahmeyer International in association with Manitoba Hydro. International, Canada (“the Consultant”) as Project Supervision Consultant (PSC)on June 29, 2015. The contract period of PSC is twelve years. The consultant will assist one year for pre-construction activities, six years for project construction and last five years for project operation and maintenance.

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