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Feasibility study sought for integrated Gongri-Jerichhu pumped-storage project in Bhutan

Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), Bhutan's state-controlled hydropower plant operator and developer, invites expressions of interest by 14 July from prospective consultancy firms to assist with the preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Integrated Gongri hydropower project and Jerichhu pumped-storage project in eastern Bhutan. The DPR is to be prepared as per the Bhutan Guidelines for Development of Hydropower Projects 2018 to reflect international best practices and thereby make the project bankable for International Financing Institutions. DGPC intends to use internal funds to pay the contract for which this tender has been issued.

In order to ensure energy security and meet growing power supply requirements resulting from the increased pace of socio-economic development of the country, the Department of Energy (DoE) under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR) has prioritized the preparation of the detailed feasibility study of the 740 MW Gongri hydropower project with integration of the 1800 MW Jerichhu pumped-storage project, and in October 2022 accorded approval to DGPC to carry out the DPR studies for both Gongri and the Jerichhu umped Storage Project.

The projects are planned in the Drangmechhu river basin, the biggest river system in Bhutan. The Gongri run-of-the-river project with pondage is planned on the Gongri river, one of the basin’s two major rivers, on the boundary of the Trashigang and Mongar dzongkhags (districts), four km downstream of the confluence of the Gongri and Sherichhu rivers. The main project components include a concrete gravity dam with a maximum height above deepest foundation of 177 m, which would impound a reservoir with a gross storage of 427 x106 m3 and a live storage capacity of 351 x 106  m3, and a powerhouse located at around 900 m downstream of the planned dam.

A pre-feasibility study of Gongri, carried out in-house by the DoE and submitted in February 2022, assessed the project to be techno-economically viable considering its geology and the potential for its integrated development as a pumped storage facility, with its reservoir to be utilized as a lower reservoir for the proposed pumped-storage project. Gongri HPP is planned with an installed power capacity of 740 MW and annual design output of 2721 GWh. An original topographic survey was outsourced to the National Land Commission, while geotechnical investigations was outsourced to M/s. Bhutan Core Drilling & Geotech Services and geological studies and mapping were undertaken by M/s Bhutan Core Drilling & Geotech Services and M/s Alpha Geotech & Company.

The Jerichhu pumped-storage facility, which would be the country’s first, is planned in Trashigang Dzongkhag on the river Jerichhu, which is the left bank tributary of Gongri.  A reconnaissance study, which was conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2040 found the project to be technically viable.  The open-loop pumped storage project, with a maximum output of 1800 MW, is designed with inflow connected to the upper reservoir and a tailrace tunnel connected to the lower dam which would be part of the Gongri hydropower project.

The preparation of the DPR will be carried out jointly by a team of staff from DGPC and the selected consultant. For the preparation of DPR, apart from the activities which shall be carried out by a team of staff from DGPC, the major works related to design and engineering of the project shall be carried out by the consultant. The consultant shall also validate the work carried out by DGPC and provide necessary technical guidance as required. The consultancy service shall also facilitate close working relations between DGPC and the consultant’s engineers for successful completion of the DPR and for effective transfer of technology and know-how in the process. The preparation of the DPR is expected to be completed 25 months from the date of signing of the contract agreement.

The EOI documents comprising Instruction to bidders, EOI evaluation/shortlisting criteria, Bidding forms and Terms of Reference shall be available for download from the DGPC website: www.drukgreen.bt until 13 July. The EOI must be delivered in written form to the address below (in person, by mail or by e-mail) by 15.00 hours (Bhutan Standard Time) on 14 July. For any further information, contact: Darjay Wangdi, Head, Contracts Management and Procurement Division

Projects Department, Druk Green Power Corporation Limited, Post Box No. 1351, Motithang, Thimphu, Bhutan; Tel.: +975 2 339875; Email: d.wangdi269@drukgreen.bt

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