Tala Hydropower Plant to remain shut for three months

The Tala Hydropower Plant in Chhukha will be shut down for three months from the end of December this year. According to the Druk Green Power Corporation, this is to carry out a detailed inspection of the Head Race Tunnel and make necessary repairs as recommended by international experts. An earlier inspection conducted in March found cracks and holes in the tunnel and some debris on the tunnel floor. 

The 1,020 MW Tala Hydropower Plant is the country’s largest plant and a major contributor to domestic revenue. The three-month shutdown will lead to a revenue loss of about Nu 840 M.

The DGPC’s Managing Director, Dasho Chhewang Rinzin, said “the country will experience a shortfall in power supply for its domestic market. Arrangements will be made to import power from India to cater to any shortfall in supply during the three months.”

During the lean season, the Tala Hydropower generates about 190 MW of electricity, all of which is used for domestic consumption.

However, pieces of concrete and other debris have been appearing in the distributor and nozzle injector in the power house since September 2018.

To prevent further increase in loss of concrete blocks and widening of the cracks, experts recommended a physical inspection as soon as possible. The DGPC says the inspection will require at least 45 days to dewater the tunnel and another 15 days to refill the tunnel, providing only around one month for inspection and repair of defects.

In March this year, the DGPC used a remotely operated vehicle equipped with underwater cameras and sonar technology to inspect the tunnel.

Sangay Chezom

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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