Arun-3 Hydro Project | 04 Mar 2019

Recently the government has approved an investment proposal for transmission component in Nepal portion of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project.

  • The investment will be done by state-owned Sutlej Jal Vikas Nigam (SJVN) which has been carrying out the construction work at the plant.
  • The power from the project will be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India. This will not only provide surplus power to India but also strengthen the economic linkages with Nepal.
  • The Arun-3 Hydro Electric project (900 MW) is a run-of-river located on Arun River in Eastern Nepal.
  • A Memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Government of Nepal and SJVN Limited for the project in 2008 for execution on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period.

Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT)

  • BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) is a public-private partnership (PPP) project model in which a private organization conducts a large development project under contract to a public-sector partner, such as a government agency.
  • BOOT is sometimes known as BOT (build, own, transfer).
  • In this model, the public-sector partner contracts with a private developer with specific expertise - to design and implement a large project.
  • The public-sector partner may provide limited funding or some other benefit (such as tax exempt status) but the private-sector partner assumes the risks associated with planning, constructing, operating and maintaining the project for a specified time period.
  • During that time, the developer charges customers who use the infrastructure that's been built to realize a profit. At the end of the specified period, the private-sector partner transfers ownership to the funding organization, either freely or for an amount stipulated in the original contract.

Run-of-the-river Project

  • Run-of-the-river hydroelectric projects are hydroelectric systems that harvest the energy from flowing water to generate electricity.
  • The primary difference between this type of hydroelectric generation compared to others is that run-of-the-river primarily uses the natural flow rate of water to generate power—instead of the power of water falling from a height.
  • For a run-of-the-river system to be possible in a given location, there needs to be two specific geographical features:
    • A substantial flow rate, either from rainfall or a melting snowpack.
    • There must be enough of a tilt to the river to speed the water up significantly.
  • Features:
    • These are less expensive to build and can be built over a shorter period of time.
    • They have a smaller environmental footprint when compared to dams with large amounts of water storage.
    • However, the output from run-of-the-river system is significantly lower than large scale hydro projects, which increases the cost per kWh as compared to Dam based hydroelectric generation.
    • The manipulation of river flows can cause a significant number of environmental impacts affecting the aquatic ecosystem.