India – Pumped up on hydro

Published: March 27, 2013
Theri-Dam-tractebel-engineering-article

Theri dam – photo Tractebel Engineering (INDIA)

 

Hydropower (HP) in India has so much potential it is easy to see why everyone is excited by it! For Tractebel Engineering (INDIA), benefitting from projects shared with Coyne et Bellier – Tractebel Engineering (FRANCE), it’s clear; this is a market worth investing in.

INDIA’S REAL HYDROPOWER

India has a population of approximately 1.3 billion and energy is always in short supply. Looking for ways to meet the demand, it’s been identified that the potential for HP generation, including Pump Storage Plants (PSP), is about 240 GW. Read what that means and why now?

ENTER TRACTEBEL ENGINEERING (INDIA)

Successful in gas and thermal sectors, Tractebel Engineering (INDIA), seriously entered the Hydro Business in India in 2007 co-signing a contract as Owners Engineer with Coyne et Bellier, the Hydro division of Tractebel Engineering (FRANCE), on Tehri – 4 x 250 MW PSP. Read more

THE TEHRI 2,400 MW TALE

Managed by the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd. (THDC Ltd.) the Tehri Hydroelectric Complex on the river Bhagirathi, State Uttarakhand, is a very high profile project in India due to its size and history. Read more

TWO NEW HYDROPOWER PROJECTS

Tehri Pump Storage Plant (PSP) – Tehri Hydroelectric Complex
Rangit II – 66 MW HPP, Sikkum


 

INDIA’S REAL HYDROPOWER

India has a population of approximately 1.3 billion and energy is always in short supply. Looking for ways to meet the demand, it’s been identified that the potential for HP generation, including Pump Storage Plants (PSP), is about 240 GW.

A LONG TERM FUTURE
Today, only 25% of that 240 GW has actually been put into operation, or is under construction – including India’s impressive 2,400 MW Tehri Hydroelectric Complex. With close to 180 GW still to be developed (more than 600 HP projects), there are opportunities in HP Generation in India for generations to come!

A SLOW START…
During the years that the State controlled India’s power investment, government spend was spread across several power sectors. HP development calls for high capital and takes time and, with the limited funds available, other (gas and coal-fired) energy solutions were prioritised. As a result, progress in hydro was slow. The relocation of people is also always an issue for India’s democratic State. It is also difficult to access many of the potential sites in the Himalayan States as this requires infrastructure (roads) to be put in place.

… AND A CHANGE OF PACE
It’s really only been since 2005 when it became government policy to invite private sector participants into the power generation arena that the pace of Hydro development has dramatically picked up. This has seen new developments in HP and the completion of big government projects like Dul Hasti 390 MW HPP (2007) and the Tehri Hydroelectric Complex 2400 MW (now in its final phase). Read more


Dul Hasti dam, completed in 2007 – photos Tractebel Engineering (FRANCE)

ENTER TRACTEBEL ENGINEERING (INDIA)

Already successful in gas and thermal sectors, Tractebel Engineering (INDIA) seriously entered the Hydro Business in India in 2007 co-signing a contract as Owners Engineer with Coyne et Bellier, the Hydro division of Tractebel Engineering (FRANCE), on Tehri – 4 x 250 MW PSP.

OUR COMPETITIVE EDGE
Prior to the Tehri PSP contract, Coyne et Bellier, market leaders in Dams and HP and a well known name in India, had also recently successfully completed the Dul Hasti HPP, adding to their value in the Indian market’s eyes.

With good evidence of India’s Hydro potential and local insight into its needs, Tractebel Engineering has also prioritised building a strong Indian Hydro team. This included bringing in Dr. H.R. Sharma (he has 55 years experience in Hydro and his association with Tehri goes back to the 1970s when he personally designed the diversion tunnel & spillway and prepared the layout of the underground powerhouse) as Chief Technical Principal.

“Today, backed by the expertise of Coyne et Bellier, Tractebel Engineering (INDIA) is ready to fully assist state or private investors; introducing the latest technical know-how and expertise into the market and adding value through unparalleled Hydropower experience and knowledge of India’s market and expectations.” Vinod Jain, Vice President – Hydro Business Tractebel Engineering (INDIA)


Theri-Dam-tractebel-engineering-article

Theri dam – photo Tractebel Engineering (INDIA)

THE TEHRI 2,400 MW TALE

Managed by the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd. (THDC Ltd.) the Tehri Hydroelectric Complex on the river Bhagirathi, State Uttarakhand, is a very high profile project in India due to its size and history.

It is also India’s most ambitious, multipurpose (2 reservoirs provide irrigation and municipal water, as well as electricity to the region) hydro project. Construction on Tehri began in 1978 but stalled several times due to social, financial and environmental issues. Today the Tehri scheme which is in its final phase and is relatively close to completion, expected in 2016, includes:

  • Tehri Dam & HPP – A 260.5 m high Earth & Rockfill Dam (the highest of its kind and the second highest dam in the Asian Region) with an underground powerhouse generating 1,000 MW, in operation since 2006.
  • Koteshwar HEP – A 97.5 m high concrete dam and a surface power house with 400 MW installed capacity, 22 km downstream of Tehri Dam. Koteshwar reservoir functions as the lower reservoir for the Tehri PSP.
  • Tehri Pumped Storage Plant (PSP) – The concept behind this final phase PSP (on which Tractebel Engineering is providing services as Owner’s Engineer) is to use surplus off-peak thermal energy to pump water from the Koteshwar lower reservoir to the Tehri upper reservoir to generate power during peak hours. When completed the PSP will generate an additional 1,000 MW during peak hours and will be India’s largest PSP to date.

Signature of Rangit II contract (from l. to r. ) : M. Mbarek, V. Jain (Tractebel Engineering (INDIA), S. Krishnakumar (Coastal Projects Ltd-EPC contractor) – photo V. Saxena (Tractebel Engineering (india)

TWO NEW HYDROPOWER PROJECTS

TEHRI PUMPED STORAGE PLANT (PSP)
This contract was won by tender in February 2007 with project completion foreseen 45 months from the date of signing the EPC contracts (2016). Tractebel Engineering is assisting on the project as Owner’s Engineer for THDC Ltd. – with the specific role to review the civil, hydro-mechanical and electric-mechanical designs of 3 different EPC contractors.

The PSP mission involves the construction of an underground machine hall on the left bank of the Bhagirathi River and the installation of 4 reversible 250 MW turbine units. There are also 2 Head Race tunnels (HRT) of approximately 1,000 m with upstream surge tanks and similar surge tanks downstream for the 1,000m long TRT tunnels. The technical challenge of this project is that almost all of the structures involved are underground and, although in depth studies have been carried out, surprises cannot be ruled out. As this is a seismically sensitive region, utmost care needs to be taken while carrying out the works. Fortunately with Tractebel Engineering experts on the team bringing extensive knowledge and experience of tunnelling and carrying out underground works in the Himalayas, the project is in safe hands.

RANGIT II 66 MW HYDROELECTRIC PLANT
Thanks to the very good customer relationship enjoyed with Sikkim Hydro Power Ventures Ltd. Tractebel Engineering signed a contract in May 2012 for a new 47 m high Concrete Gravity Dam & HPP in Sikkim. Tractebel Engineering is carrying out the detailed design for the civil works and review of the hydro-mechanical designs for the dam. The project also involves 2 x 33 MW unit surface power house.

Work is well underway and several innovative design modifications have been suggested and made to make the project more efficient and cost effective. The project is due to complete in 2016.

55 YRS EXPERTISE

International HP expert Dr. H.R. Sharma, has been active in almost all of India’s major power and water resources projects. His association with Tractebel Engineering Pvt Ltd (INDIA) as Chief Technical Principal – Hydro, reinforces the group’s commitment to provide optimal engineering solutions to its customers. Read more

DEEP EXPERTS

India’s real hydro potential is found in the Himalayan hill states – a tectonically active zone. An article “Geological Problems in Tunnelling in Himalayan Region and their Solutions” by experts Dr H.R. Sharma and Dr A.N. Tiwari, was published in International Water Power and Dam Construction, Oct. 2012. Read more

For the Srinagar project, a run-of-river scheme under construction on the Alaknanda river, one of the main tributaries of the river Ganges Dr. H. R. Sharma and D. Gautam present an innovative design for the desilting basin walls in the International Journal on Hydropower & Dams. Read more

NEW OFFICE

Strengthening its local presence, Tractebel Engineering has opened a new office in Chennai (India) to meet the needs of the power market in Southern India, with a specific focus on Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerela and Andhra Pradesh markets. Read more

More information

  • Vinod Jain
  • Dr. H.R. Sharma

 

Vinod Jain, Vice President – Hydro Business
Dr. H.R. Sharma, Chief Technical Principal – Hydro Business

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