Celebrating India-Bhutan ties: The Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project receives prestigious award

By: |
October 21, 2020 5:20 PM

India has so far constructed four Hydroelectric Projects in Bhutan including the 60 MW Kurichhu HEP; 1020 MW Tala HEP; the 336 MW Chukha HEP; and the 720 MW Mangdechhu HEP.

India has funded through a 70 per cent loan and a 30 per cent grant to Bhutan.

The Mangdechhu Hydroelectric project which is a success story of India Bhutan cooperation in the Hydropower sector has recently won the prestigious Brunel Medal-2020. With the coming on stream of the India-Bhutan Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project, the jointly created generation capacity by India in Bhutan has crossed 2000 MW.

Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online “Earlier this month on Oct 5, the Awards Committee of the UK based Institute of Civil Engineers has conferred the medal which is in recognition of achievement in civil engineering as well as acknowledgement of service and excellence.”

What is Mangdechhu Hydroelectric project?

Inaugurated in August 2019, the 720MW project is a success story of India Bhutan cooperation in the Hydropower sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr Lotay Tshering had jointly expressed appreciation for the timely completion of the project and had also emphasized the importance of hydropower development as one of the most important areas of mutually beneficial bilateral co-operation.

Most importantly, the Indo-Bhutan joint project which is merely one year old has earned more revenue than the projected target of Rs/Nu 1200 crores. According to sources, “it has already earned a revenue of Rs./Nu. 1300 crores, with all the four units running at full capacity and generating 18.7 Million Units/day at 779 MW since Aug 2, 2020.”

At the time of construction, the focus was also on the community development and social and environment based projects were started to help the local community. These included the construction of a Basic Health Unit, afforestation activity, infrastructure for school, etc in the Trongsa District of Bhutan.

More about the Mangdechhu Project

This is a river project and is located in the Trongsa district of Bhutan, the construction was started in 1012 and was completed in a record time of seven years and the approximate cost was around Rs/Nu 5000 crores.

India has funded through a 70 per cent loan and a 30 per cent grant to Bhutan.

Constituted by the Indian and the Bhutanese Governments, this project has been developed by the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority.

The electricity generated by the Project after meeting the energy requirements of Bhutan, the surplus is exported to India.

Hydropower projects in Bhutan

The hydropower projects are an example of win-win cooperation between India and Bhutan. These projects while generating export revenue for Bhutan are also cementing the economic integration between the two sides.

They are providing a reliable source of inexpensive and clean electricity to India too.

India has so far constructed four Hydroelectric Projects in Bhutan including the 60 MW Kurichhu HEP; 1020 MW Tala HEP; the 336 MW Chukha HEP; and the 720 MW Mangdechhu HEP.

Also, three Hydroelectric projects which are under construction include the 1200 MW Punatsangchhu-I, the 1020 MW Punatsangchhu-II and the 600 MW Kholongchhu.

And, out of these, according to sources, “Kholongchhu is the first Joint Venture model project between Bhutan and India. And is also the only Hydroelectric project in the easternmost tip of Bhutan, and the Concessional Agreement for this project was signed on 29 July 2020. This is expected to open a new chapter of beneficial cooperation between the two countries.”

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