Hy­dropower Gen­er­a­tion in Bhutan

Southasia - - BRIEF­ING -

It is ex­pected that Bhutan’s yearly rev­enue from en­ergy and hy­dropower ex­ports to In­dia will touch the Nu 45bn mark by 2018. Ac­cord­ing to sources, hy­dropower projects of Pu­natsangchu I, II and Mangdechu will be com­mis­sioned and op­er­a­tional by that time earn­ing an an­nual rev­enue of Nu 34bn. These projects have a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 2,940MW and will gen­er­ate nearly 12,951 mil­lion units of en­ergy ev­ery year. In ad­di­tion, the ex­ist­ing projects of Tala, Chukha, Kurichu and Basochu would give the coun­try earn­ings of nearly Nu 11bn per an­num.

The gov­ern­ment de­ter­mined the es­ti­mated rev­enue fig­ure af­ter eval­u­at­ing to­tal gen­er­a­tion by each project and unit price of en­ergy gen­er­a­tion. The rev­enue gen­er­ated by hy­dropower projects will help Bhutan re­duce its short-term li­a­bil­i­ties which mainly con­sti­tute bor­row­ings made by the In­dian gov­ern­ment and the In­dian com­mer­cial banks.

The Bhutanese gov­ern­ment will in­crease its pace of con­struct­ing 10,000 MW hy­dropower projects dur­ing 2017. Bhutan will com­mence sell­ing power to In­dia once all projects are com­pleted, which will strengthen their bi­lat­eral ties. Bhutan also has to pay off its debts and the hy­dropower projects will help the coun­try lessen the bur­den.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates, af­ter pay­ing debts in 2018, the coun­try will be left with Nu 22bn. How­ever, the econ­omy will get a boost when its hy­dropower projects will op­er­ate at max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency by the end of 2018, which will as­sist the coun­try in re­pay­ing the loan it took for con­struct­ing Pu­natsangchu I, which has a re­pay­ment pe­riod of 12 years.

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