Chhukha power export tariff increases by 30 Cheltrum a unit
India government increased tariff for Chhukha hydropower plant (CHP) by 30 Cheltrum, from Nu.2.25 to Nu.2.55 a unit with effect from 1 January 2017.
The export tariff of CHP was revised between Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Advantage Assam Investors Summit in Guwahati on 3 February.
The last seventh tariff was revised by 25 Cheltrum to 2.55 Cheltrum a unit in 2014. A press release from the office of the Prime Minister states that the 30 Cheltrum increase is a bigger increase than the last tariff revision which happened in 2014.
With increase by 30 Cheltrum, the 336MW Chhukha hydropower project would earn Nu.4,097.85 m from the export of electricity in 2017, which amounts an additional revenue of Nu.482.1 m. This increase will help the government improve its fiscal position and Indian rupee reserves.
The decision is significant as Bhutan and India is commemorating 50 years of formal diplomatic relationship this year. Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay during the bilateral meeting highlighted this special gesture of formal diplomatic relations. Prime minister said, “CHP is an iconic power project that heralded the beginning of a successful and mutually beneficial partnership between India and Bhutan in the hydropower sector.”
A hike would be given around every four years and it would depend on factors such as project financing cost, deprecation rates and number of projects among others.
The tariff was revised around seven times, since the commissioning. The first tariff hike was in 1990 when the earlier different rates of Nu.0.13 a unit for secondary energy and Nu.0.26 for firm energy fixed in 1986 was uniformed at Nu.0.26 a unit. The second tariff was sold at Nu.0.37 a unit in 1993 and then to Nu.0.50 a unit in 1995 in its third revision. In the fourth revision, the tariff was increased to Nu.1.50 a unit in 1997, while the fifth hike made it to Nu.1.50 a unit in 1999. The sixth revision in 2005 increased the tariff to Nu.2 a unit.
It was to further strengthen the relations and friendship between the two countries. A press release states, “This significant tariff revision is a reflection of the goodwill and extremely closes ties of friendship between Bhutan and India.”
The Chhukha project is next to Tala project in terms of hydro project revenue. On an average, the project generates around 1,800m units of power to India annually.
The CHP was initiated in 1974 and commissioned in 1988 after its inauguration by President R. Venkataraman of India.
The hike in the past coincided with visits of His Majesty The Fourth King to India.
Lyonchhen ( Dasho) Tshering Tobgay met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Advantage Assam Investors Summit in Guwahati