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India and Bhutan sign concession agreement for joint venture hydroelectric project

The project will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited. It is a joint venture company formed between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited of India (SJVNL) and Druk Green Power Corporation of Bhutan (DGPC).

Jun 29, 2020 19:17 IST
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A Concession Agreement has been signed between India and Bhutan on June 29 for a joint venture hydroelectric project. The agreement will pave the way for the commencement of its construction and other related works.

As per the statement by the Ministry of External Affairs, the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bhutanese counterpart Tandi Dorji were virtually present when the concession agreement was signed between Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited and Bhutanese Govt.

The joint venture project of two countries is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025. The 600 MW run-of-the-river project will be located on the lower course of the Kholongchhu river in the Trashiyangtse district in Easter Bhutan.

Key Highlights:

•   The project will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited. It is a joint venture company formed between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited of India (SJVNL) and Druk Green Power Corporation of Bhutan (DGPC).

•   As per the MEA, the project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW Turbines along with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 metres height.

•   In August 2019, the 720 MW Mangdechhu hydroelectric project was jointly inaugurated by the Prime Ministers of India and Bhutan.

•   With the signing of this project, four hydroelectric projects of the bilateral corporation (60 MW Kurichhu HEP, 336 MW Chukha HEP, 720 MW Mangdechhu HEP and 1,020 Tala HEP) which is totaling over 2,100 MW are already operational in Bhutan.

External Affairs Ministers of India and Bhutan on the joint venture:

The External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, and his Bhutanese Counterpart emphasised the importance of hydropower development. They defined it as an important pillar of mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation.

Both the ministers also recalled the cooperation, trust, and mutual respect that have long characterised the special and unique friendship, reinforced by strong people to people links and shared cultural heritage between India and Bhutan.

As per the MEA statement, Loknath Sharma, Bhutan Economic Affairs Minister, and senior government officials including the ambassador of India to Bhutan and ambassador of Bhutan to India, foreign secretaries of Bhutan and India, secretary (power) were also present at the signing ceremony that was held through video conferencing.

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