Luhri Hydro Power Consortium (LHPC), a consortium led by Patel Engineering in partnership with HES Infra, has been contracted by Indian hydropower producer Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), to implement the 210 MW Luhri Stage I project on the River Satluj in the Shimla and Kullu districts of the northernmost state of Himachal Pradesh.
The project is being developed by SJVN on a build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) basis, with financial support from the Government of India, which is providing grants of INR 661 million (US$ 8.98 million) for enabling infrastructure. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved an investment of INR 18.1 billion (US$ 245.73 million) in the project in November 2020.
The run-of-river scheme, which is expected to take 62 months to complete, will comprise an 80 m-high, 225 m-long, concrete gravity dam, with pondage for peaking. Water will be channelled via a 567 m-long horseshoe-shaped diversion tunnel with a diameter of 10 m and through four intakes and four 90 m-long penstocks to the powerhouse. There will be two main 80 MW units and two auxiliary units of 25 MW each, together designed to generate 758 GWh/year.
The construction activities will result in direct and indirect employment and will contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the state. Himachal Pradesh will benefit from free power worth around INR 11.4 billion (US$ 154.7 million), over the course of the project’s life of 40 years.
Luhri Stage I is one of three schemes to be built by SJVN as part of the Luhri cascade development, which is designed to include Luhri Stage II (163 MW) and Luhri Stage III (382 MW), also known as the Sunni hydropower project. SJVN tendered an EPC contract covering design and engineering services and civil and hydro-mechanical works for Luhri Stage III in May 2021 (see H&D Issue 3, 2021).