Giving a major boost to hydro power projects in Himachal, Germany government on Monday agreed to provide a soft loan Rs 1630 Crore ( 201.5 million Euro) to Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited ( HPPCL) for Thana Plaun Project under the ‘Himalaya Hydro power Program’.
The Managing Director HPPCL DK Sharma presented request for financial assistance from Government of Germany for the 191 MW Thana Plaun Hydro Electric Power Project of HPPCL during the Indo-German Annual Negotiations 2013 under Indo-German Bilateral Development Cooperation Program held in New Delhi in July.
The project will be constructed on River Beas, around 25 km downstream of Mandi town.
Sharma said that Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India has since informed Government of Himachal Pradesh & HPPCL that the Government of Germany has committed a financial assistance of EUR 201.50 million (Rs. 1,630 crore).
“Of this amount, EUR 200 million (Rs. 1,618 crore) will be by way reduced interest loan and the balance EUR 1.5 million (Rs. 12 crore) will be by way of grant for carrying out further technical studies of the Project,” he added.
Sharma said that the Thana Plaun Project of HPPCL had initially been conceived as run of the river Project with the installed capacity of 141 MW.
He said that he took steps to optimize the design and layout of the Project. “After optimization, typical run-of-the-river project with Head Race Tunnel has been converted into a dam-toe power house layout and as a result, after discussions with the Central Electricity Authority, Government of India, the installed capacity has been enhanced from 141MW to 191 MW,” Sharma said.
“KfW, a development financing agency wholly owned by the Government of Germany, will now commence the technical, environmental & social evaluation of the Thana Plaun Hydro Electric Project,” he said, adding that this evaluation is expected to be completed by June, 2014. HPPCL expects to obtain all regulatory approvals by September, 2014 and to sign the loan agreement with KfW by September, 2014. The project construction is expected to commence by January, 2015 and is expected to be completed in about 4 years’ time thereafter.