Home National Kaligandaki A to shut for week, load-shedding hours may go up

Kaligandaki A to shut for week, load-shedding hours may go up

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Pokhara, May 24, 2016: With the country already reeling under hours of load-shedding every day, the Kaligandaki A hydropower plant is to be shut down for a week because of a problem with the turbine.

Kaligandaki A, situated near Mirmi of Syangja district, is one of the country’s largest hydropower plants now in operation.

The plant is going to shut down from 7 am Tuesday for the repair and maintenance.  With the halt in operation, the load-shedding hours may increase, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

Generation of electricity will be stopped for a week while repair and maintenance of the first unit is underway, according to plant chief Shree Ramraj Pandey. If there is a problem in one unit, all three units have to be closed for the repair work, he informed.

“Currently, around 90 megawatts is being generated by Kaligandaki A. As a problem has occurred in the main inlet valve (MIV), which feeds water into the turbine, we have started on the repairs. For this, the plant will be closed for a week,” he said. “We’ll complete the repair and maintenance as early as possible.”

This is the first time the MIV, which has been in operation since the last 13 years, is going to be repaired. Engineers found corrosion in the MIV because of pressure from the water flow, engineer Deepak KC said. According to him, the MIV determines the amount of water flow into the turbine and any leakage affects the power generation.

Toshiba, the Japanese company, is carrying out the repair and maintenance, engineer KC informed. It is the same company that first installed the valve.

The 144-megawatt capacity Kaligandaki A has three units generating of 48 megawatts each. However, the plant’s total capacity has decreased to 90 megawatts with the decrease in the water level.

Meanwhile, Bhawan Kumar Kshetri, director at NEA’s load distribution center, said that there may be fluctuations of one  hour in the load shedding schedule. “The existing duration of load shedding will remain as it is. If the grid doesn’t carry the load, load shedding hours may increase by an hour,” he said.

The country may face a loss of Rs 1,100 million during the week-long plant shutdown, according to a high official at NEA.