Hydropower Generation in Bhutan
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.