Chamoli avalanche ravages NTPC’s under-construction 510 MW hydro plant

By: |
February 8, 2021 4:00 AM

The project, started in 2006, was scheduled to be commissioned in 2013 but the devastating flood in that year affected the construction process.

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat (centre) inspects flood-hit areas, after a glacier broke off in Joshimath in Chamoli district, on Sunday (PTI image)Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat (centre) inspects flood-hit areas, after a glacier broke off in Joshimath in Chamoli district, on Sunday(PTI image)

An avalanche in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand has damaged NTPC’s under-construction 520 mega-watt (MW) Tapovan Vishnugad hydro power project, which is seen to further delay the commissioning of the plant. The project, started in 2006, was scheduled to be commissioned in 2013 but the devastating flood in that year affected the construction process. Earlier, the cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 2,978.5 crore, which was later revised to Rs 5,867.4 crore due to time and cost overruns. NTPC has already spent more than Rs 4,467 crore on the site.

“While rescue operation is on, situation is being monitored continuously with the help of district administration and police,” NTPC said on Twitter. The plant, being constructed on the Dhauliganga river, will have four units of 130 MW each and the first unit was slated to be commissioned in June, 2022. The project will also need fresh approvals of the environment ministry after the government remapped the eco sensitive zones in the area in October, 2018.

The project construction was awarded to a joint venture of L&T and Austria-based Alpine Mayreder Bau GmbH, but the contract was terminated in 2014 as geological constraints delayed tunnel construction. The tunnel project was then awarded to Hindustan Construction Company in 2016, but financial constraints of the agency affected its progress.

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