NHPC Ltd has announced that the 4th Unit of its 44 mw hydel project at Chutak in Kargil district of Jammu & Kashmir will begin commercial operations on 1 February 2013. The Chutak hydroelectric project (HEP) comprises of four units of 11 mw each. Units 1, 2 and 3 are already under commercial operation from 29 November 2012. The power project aims to explore the hydropower potential of river Suru, a tributary of Indus.
The Chutak HEP is one of the seven hydroelectric projects that were entrusted to NHPC as per the MoU signed between the Centre and Government of Jammu & Kashmir on 20 July 2000. The other six projects are 330 mw Kishanganga, 280 mw Uri stage II, 1020 mw Bursar, 120 mw Sewa stage II, 1000 mw Pakal Dul and the 45 mw Nimoo Bazgo project.
The investment in the Chutak plant was revised by NHPC from Rs.6 billion to Rs.9 billion. The Rs.3 billion escalation, was attributed to rising cost of raw material, exchange rate variation, enhancement of taxes, change in evacuation voltage from 33 kV to 66 kV, change in site conditions, over & under provision and expenditure on various heads. The delay in completion (almost by 23 months) of the project has been attributed to extreme cold weather and high altitude.
Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCCL) is the civil contractor for the project while Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has supplied, erected and commissioned the generating equipment at the plant.