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Home News Power Sector News Nepal Electricity Authority re-invite tenders for Koshi-hit towers

Nepal Electricity Authority re-invite tenders for Koshi-hit towers

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Changing course of Kozhi river demolished the Transmission towers towersNepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has decided to re-invite tenders to build electricity towers along the cross-border Kataiya- Duhabi transmission line between Nepal and India. Nepal can import 90 MW of electricity from India once the towers, demolished by the Koshi River in August-2008, are restored.

An NEA board meeting on 17-11-2008 directed the public utility to immediately re-invite the tenders as one of the two companies vying for the project was technically disqualified. NEA could not proceed as there was just a single company left, said NEA officials.

Five towers along the cross-border transmission line had collapsed due to the flood. The river demolished the towers when it breached its embankment at West Kusaha in Sunsari district on August 18 and flowed eastward changing its previous course.

Nepal had been importing 50 MW electricity through the same transmission line which was stopped after the Koshi havoc. NEA had signed an agreement with PTC India Limited to import additional 60 MW electricity during the Power Summit-2008 in Kathmandu in September. Of that, 20 MW will be imported from Tanakpur transmission line starting Dec. 16, according to Shah.

But Nepal has been unable to import 40 MW electricity as per the new agreement. Thus, the demolition of towers had disrupted 90 MW [50 MW as per the previous arrangement and 40 MW as per the new agreement] of electricity supply.

According to NEA officials, not many tenders have been received owing to the challenging nature of the task. It needs special expertise and equipment, which only a few construction companies in Nepal have. The foundation of some of the towers go as deep as 30 metres below the riverbed.

The work will be easier if the task of rerouting the Koshi River to its previous course is completed early. The government of  India, which has mobilised a contractor to re-route the river, has said the task will be completed by mid-December.

Meanwhile, NEA has also requested the Indian authority to make arrangements for setting up emergency towers, which can be done only by the Indian side. An Indian team is in Nepal to study the technical feasibility of the emergency arrangement.

Courtsey- Kantipur Online

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