Nepal still suffering from quake-related damage to hydroelectric facilities


The series of earthquakes, aftershocks and quake-induced landslides that occurred in Nepal during 2015 damaged about 15 hydropower plants, according to Nepal’s Electricity Authority. The events reduced power generation by about 90 MW from the country’s estimated 600 MW of total installed hydropower capacity.

There are about 49 hydropower plants in the Integrated Nepal Power System, which contributes about 90% of its energy, according to the state-owned organization.

Some of the plants affected by seismic activity include:

  • 4.2-MW Baramchi;
  • 45-MW Upper Bhotekoshi;
  • 3.52-MW Charnawati;
  • 1-MW Chhotekhola;
  • 14.9-MW Hewa Khola;
  • 2.4-MW Jiri Khola;
  • 1.8-MW Lower Chaku Khola;
  • 10-MW Lower Modi;
  • 5-MW Mailung;
  • 10-MW Sipring Khola;
  • 5-MW Siurikhola; and
  • 2.6-MW Sunkoshi Small.

According to government data, generation losses at Upper Bhotekoshi are about 236 GWh, or US$30 million. Published reports indicate parts of the country continue to suffer power outages of up to 14 hours per day.

Narendra Prajapati, Bhotekoshi Power Company Ltd. general manager, said repair work on the Upper Bhotekoshi penstocks and on the powerhouse that remained submerged in water for more than six months has been delayed by supply constraints.

The effects of the earthquake are still visible at several power plants being constructed, including the 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi.

The US$664 million Upper Tamakoshi hydroelectric facility is being constructed on Nepal’s Tamakoshi River, which when completed will be the largest hydro facility connected to the INPS.

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