Nepal and India to build hydropower plant for highlands supply
Arun 3 Hydropower
Power Company NEA, Nepal, and Hydropower Company SJVN, India, have signed a memorandum on construction of Arun-4, a 490 MW hydropower plant (HPP). The project, which is valued at 79.1 billion rupees (slightly over $1 billion), will be implemented in the Sankhuvasabha district where Mount Makalu, one of the five largest peaks in the world, is located.

The photo is sourced from myrepublica.nagariknetwork.com

The power plant will be the third project implemented with the participation of SJVN on the Arun River, which originates in the Tibet region of China, with its mouth in eastern Nepal. The first project was the 900 MW Arun-3 HPP, which is now half completed. HPP, with a 70-metre-high dam and a reservoir of 13.9-million cubic metres, will begin to export almost 80% of its generated power to India via a 300-kilometre-long transmission line from 2024.

The 679 MW Lower Arun HPP (the second project) will smooth out the water fluctuations that occur during operation of the Arun-3 HPP. A similar function in Russia is performed by the Mainskaya HPP, which forms a single hydraulic engineering system with the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP, as well as the Miatlinskaya HPP and the Nizhne-Bureiskaya HPP, which are part of the Sulaksk (Dagestan) and Bureysk (Amur Region) HPP cascades, respectively.

Over 20% of the Arun-4 power (the third project) will be supplied to the domestic market of Nepal, in particular, to the consumers in the high mountainous province of Sankhuvasabha where it is difficult to provide supply from fossil sources due to natural reasons. The remainder will be exported, including to Bangladesh, where power shortages may worsen due to last year’s government’s refusal to build ten coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 7.4 GW.

High mountain regions are often used for construction of hydropower plants. For example, RusHydro plans to put into operation three small HPPs in the North Caucasus by 2027-2028 – the 23 MW Verkhnebaksanskaya HPP in Kabardino-Balkaria, the 23 MW Nikholayskaya HPP in Chechnya and the 49.8 MW Mogokhskaya HPP in Chechnya. At the same time, by the end of 2022, construction of two Krasnogorsk HPPs, with 24.9 MW capacity each, should be completed in Karachay-Cherkessia.

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