Tala Hydropower Plant resumes power generation

File Picture

The Tala Hydropower Project in Chhukha has resumed operation. The plant started generating electricity on Thursday. The hydropower plant was shut down for about two and a half months for maintenance. The Druk Green Power Corporation reported cracks and holes in the tunnel and debris on the tunnel floor during the initial inspection in March last year.

The import of electricity from India was suspended after the plant resumed power generation. Bhutan decided to import electricity from India to cater to the loss in power supply during the rectification works.

The Managing Director of the corporation said remedial measures were carried out as recommended by the experts’ committee and the international consultant.

“We hope it is good for the next ten years. We are hoping that it will be good for the next 50 to 60 years which is the life span of the hydropower project but we cannot overrule the fact that these tunnels are running through very poor geological conditions. Whatever was necessary, whatever was possible, we have done to rectify it at the present juncture. To give us a sense of confidence, at regular intervals, it will be good to inspect the tunnels to ensure that its integrity is intact,” said Managing Director, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin.

The corporation spent around Nu 115 M for the rectification works. During the physical inspection of the tunnel last year, the corporation found severe damages in the 23-kilometre tunnel that run through a weak geological zone. A robotic underwater inspection saw cracks and holes in the tunnel.

According to the corporation, pieces of concrete and other debris started appearing in the powerhouse in September 2018.

“In a section where we call Padechhu, somewhere between Takti and Gedu, there is a poor or weak geological section and in that section of about 600 mts, the damages were more than what the robots’ camera and video could capture. We found that reinforcement bars were exposed and concrete was cracked more than what was indicated,” added Dasho Chhewang.

Although all the six units of the plant can run at full capacity, only two units are operating at the moment due to reduced river discharge.

Sangay Chezom

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