Agreement for hydroelectric project in Bhutan signed in presence of EAM Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday attended via video conference the signing ceremony of Concession Agreement for 600 MW Kholongchhu JV-Hydroelectric Project in Bhutan.

This will lead to the commencement of construction of the first joint venture hydroelectric project between India and Bhutan.

The Concession Agreement for the 600 MW Kholongchhu (Joint Venture) Hydroelectric Project was signed between Bhutan government and Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025.

Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited is a Joint Venture company formed between Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) of India.

The 600 MW run-of-the-river project is located on the lower course of the Kholongchhu River in Trashiyangtse District in Eastern Bhutan. The Project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 meters height.

” The Concession Agreement for the 600 MW Kholongchhu (Joint Venture) Hydroelectric Project between the Royal Government of Bhutan and Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited was signed on 29 June 2020 in Thimphu, in the presence of S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister, Government of India and Lyonpo Tandi Dorji, Foreign Minister, Royal Government of Bhutan,” a press statement read.

“Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Minister of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan and senior government officials including Foreign Secretaries of India and Bhutan, Secretary (Power), Government of India, Ambassador of India to Bhutan and Ambassador of Bhutan to India were also present at the signing ceremony, which was held through video conferencing,” it added.

Jaishankar and Dhorji emphasized the importance of hydropower development as an important pillar of mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation.

“They also recalled the trust, co-operation and mutual respect that have long characterized the unique and special friendship, anchored in mutual understanding and reinforced by a shared cultural heritage and strong people to people links between India and Bhutan,” the statement read.

Hydropower sector is the flagship area of India-Bhutan bilateral cooperation. The 720 MW Mangdechhu hydroelectric project was jointly inaugurated earlier in August 2019 by the Prime Ministers of India and Bhutan.

With this, four (04) hydroelectric projects of bilateral cooperation (336 MW Chukha HEP, 60 MW Kurichhu HEP, 1020 MW Tala HEP and 720 MW Mangdechhu HEP), totaling over 2100 MW, are already operational in Bhutan.

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