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Lyonpo Loknath Sharma with PHPA officials
Lyonpo Loknath Sharma with PHPA officials

Performance agreement signed to complete Punatsangchu projects on time

The economic affairs minister, for the first time, signed performance agreement with project authorities of Punatsangchu Hydroelectric Project Authority (PHPA) I and II on September 12.

The objectives of the agreement are to ensure that the project management, consultants and contractors are fully responsible to complete the projects within the stipulated deadline.

It is also expected to provide an objective and fair basis for evaluating the performance at the end of the year.

The preamble of the agreement states it represents an important accountability mechanism for inculcating a performance-based culture in the project implementation.

Both the projects have missed several deadlines and escalated its construction cost.

The construction of PHPA I started in November 2008 and was supposed to complete by November 2016. Major landslides because of geological instability on the right bank of the river delayed the construction of the dam and pushed to the deadline to 2024. The project cost also escalated from Nu 35 billion (B) to Nu 93.7B as of July this year.

The main priorities highlighted in the agreement are having the proposals to provide holistic solutions for the right bank slope stabilisation finalised with targeted dates from September 15 to November 30 this year, revision and submission of project schedules along with the project completion date, completion of installations of 26 two diametres reinforced concrete cement piles at the national highway, completion of downstream surge gallery and completion of pothead yard building.

The agreement also prioritised the resolution of all audit issues from inception till financial years 2017 -18.

The performance agreement also highlighted specific performance requirements from consultants and contractors involved in the construction of the hydropower projects.

The engineering and design consultant, Water and Power Consultancy Service Limited (WAPCOS) has to conduct a timely review of measures to stabilise the right bank and issuance of drawings and design notes and provide final proposal on dam right bank holistic measures.

The equipment supplier, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), have to supply balance turbine shafts to erect generator stators and rotorsand turbines for unit 3,4 and 6. It is stated that the shaft vendor has issues with BHEL.

Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has to deploy adequate skilled manpower and improve cash flow to complete the pothead yard building. HCC is not able to deploy adequate skilled manpower and has financial issues.

The construction of PHPA II, which started in December 2010, is now scheduled to complete by 2022. The downstream surge gallery (DSSG) in March 2016 affected the powerhouse complex.

The main priorities in PHPA II are the finalisation of the project completion deadline, dam concreting, completion of invert concrete lining of headrace tunnel (HRT), completing of loose much grouting in DSSG, completing the benching by removal of much and simultaneously strengthening of walls in machine hall and transformer hall of the powerhouse.

The agreement mandates the management of both PHPA I and II to sign similar performance agreements with consultants and contractors. The management should release the payment based on their performances.

Lyonpo Loknath Sharma met with employees of both projects on September 12. “We tried to identify issues and problems and also acknowledged where there were good initiatives and development,” he said.

Tashi Dema

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