Farmers may have lost heavily due to the unseasonal rains from 16th October onwards, but the hydropower sector has earned an additional Nu 289 mn due to the rains.
Before the rains, the river levels were going down and all projects were not operating at full capacity, however, the non stop rains starting from 16th October that carried on till around 20th October saw river levels rising rapidly leading to full generation.
The DGPC MD Dasho Chhewang Rinzin said that an additional 103 mn units were generated from the morning of 16th October to 22nd October 4 pm which meant a revenue of Nu 289 mn.
Of this, Tala contributed the highest at Nu 125 mn and Mangdechu contributed Nu 122 mn followed by Dagachu at Nu 25 mn.
The total revenue could have even been higher, but Chukha had to shutdown for around 24 hours from the 19th night till 20th October due to all the debris coming down the Wangchu into the intake system.
However, since Chukha stopped all the debris, it allowed Tala to produce power at full flow.
Even then, Chukha not only made up for its lost production over the seven days but also posted an additional generation of Nu 8 mn.
Basochu generated an additional Nu 5 mn while Kurichu project generated an additional Nu 2.7 mn.
The Nu 289 mn revenue is expected to increase even more over the next few days.
The DGPC MD said that while the water level has already come down quite a bit in Mangdechu, it will come down in Tala over another day and smaller projects like Chukha, Dagachu, Basochu and Kurichu can continue generating at a higher level for another 2 to 3 days.
This means the final additional revenue benefit could well cross Nu 300 mn.
The additional hydro revenue from the rainfall will be welcome as it will help push up the total hydro earnings even if by a little.
The DGPC MD said that in 2020 Bhutan had its best hydrology or water flow ever since DGPC was instituted and so it generated 7.6 bn units and earned a record Nu 27 bn in hydropower exports.
However, this year the hydrology has not been as good and so the target is 7.4 bn units which will come to around Nu 24 bn in total revenue.