Modi lays foundation stone of Kholongchu hydro-power project

Prime minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of the 600MW Kholongchu Hydro- electric project, a joint venture between India and Bhutan.

The project's foundation stone was laid by Modi electronically from the courtyard of Bhutan's Parliament building after addressing a joint session.

Three Hydro-electric projects (HEPs) totalling 1416 MW (Chukha, Tala and Kurichu) are already operational.

Three more HEPs [Punatsangchu I (1200 MW), Punatsangchu II (1020 MW) and Mangdechu (720 MW)] are under construction. They are scheduled to be commissioned in 2017-18.

In April, 2014, the two countries had signed a framework agreement on four more JV-model HEPs totalling 2120MW. Of these, pre-construction activities for the 600MW Kholongchu HEP as a JV-model HEP between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) will commence soon.

"Our hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation," an Indian official said, adding that "the hydropower projects generate export revenues for Bhutan, cement our economic partnership and provide clean and low-cost electricity to India."

Modi arrived here yesterday on his first foreign trip after assuming office last month.

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