Control systems for hydro plants to be domestically manufactured

In the near future, the government will no longer buy control systems for operation of hydro power plants from outside the country.

It will be manufactured domestically by the Bhutan Automation and Engineering Limited (BAEL), a unit of the Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), the country’s hydropower generating company.

On January 31 the prime minister and DGPC officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony to build the BAEL manufacturing facility at the Chukha plant complex. BAEL will manufacture control systems vital for the operation of hydro power stations with support from the Austrian partners (Andritz Hydro Private Limited India).

Dasho Tshering Tobgay thanked and congratulated the Druk Green Power Corporation Limited (DGPCL) and its team for the milestone achieved in the hydro sector. “When we are now able to build the control systems, we would become capable to build hydropower plants by ourselves too,” he said.

Lyonchhen said that today’s project is an important national project towards fulfilling the visions of His Majesty the King, who has continuously rendered support and guidance toward Hydropower development.  Recalling the history of the hydro-power development in the country the prime minister said that in 1968, the Jungshina mini-Hydel in Samtenling was initiated. The project is now exactly 50 years old and Chukha, the first big project, is now 30 years old.

Lyonchhen mentioned that in the initial years of hydro development planning, preparing the DPR, equipment, machineries and execution came with foreign workers.

Then DGPC started preparing the DPR and now tunneling works is being done with Bhutanese expertise. “The DGPC has also started the Bhutan Hydro Services which repairs hydro equipment and informed the gathering that the Jigmeling industrial estate in Sarpang will have industries, which will manufacture equipment for hydropower.

One of the officials from BAEL office said that control systems need to be repaired after 10-15 years. “We have been depending upon external vendors for such system, till now. Now with these manufacturing facilities, we will be able to save huge costs,” he said.

The overall cost of the project is Nu 60 million.

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