JICA to provide Rs 315 crore for Umiam-Umtru power station upgrade

GUWAHATI: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Rs  315 crore for the project for renovation and modernisation of the Umiam-Umtru Stage III hydroelectric power station in Meghalaya.


The objective of the project is to reduce power shortage in Meghalaya by renovating, modernising, and upgrading the Umiam-Umtru Stage III Hydroelectric Power Station, situated by the Umtru river, informs a statement by JICA.


The project, which is in line with ‘24X7 Power for All Meghalaya’, a joint initiative of the Centre and the Meghalaya government, will contribute towards industrial development in the state besides improving living standards through optimum utilisation of water resources.


The ODA (official development assistance) loan agreement was signed between Shohei Hara, director general, South Asia department, JICA and Sujan R. Chinoy, ambassador of India to Japan in Tokyo recently.


“JICA has been supporting the renovation and modernisation of Umiam Hydroelectric power station since 1997 in order to improve the energy situation in the north-eastern part of India. The development of north-eastern region of India is slow as compared to the other regions and suffering from serious energy shortfall,” Katsuo Matsumoto, chief representative, JICA India office, said in the statement.


Meghalaya’s peak power demand is expected to reach 444MW in 2019. However, the state’s installed generation capacity is approximately 350 MW as on July 2017, creating a shortage of supply.


Even with receipt of electricity from power stations owned by the government of India, the state has still been facing energy shortfall between five and 15 per cent every year.


The Umiam-Umtru Stage III hydroelectric power station started operations in 1979 but its performance has been deteriorating for more than 15 years because of breakdown of the runners and electro-mechanical equipment.


In these circumstances, the said project will contribute to avoid further deterioration of the capacity and provide stable power supply to realise the growth potential of the region.


“The project is also expected to contribute to the Japan-India Act East Forum, which aims to expand cooperation between Japan and India in the north-eastern region. JICA recognises that stable power supply is essential for socio-economic development. Improvement of power supply of the existing hydropower station is critical to secure stable electric power supply,” Matsumoto said.


While the Meghalaya government plans to add capacity of 47MW with new solar and small-hydro power stations, capacity recovery of existing power stations is also urgent to address the growing demand.


The installed capacity of the Umiam-Umtru Stage III hydroelectric power station is 60 MW, comprising two units of 30 MW each. Overall, the power station represents a significant 17 per cent of the total installed capacity of Meghalaya Power Generation Corporation Limited.


JICA, it may be mentioned, has been contributing to the inclusive development of Meghalaya through various projects.


Earlier, it provided an ODA loan of 3,664 million Japanese yen (approximately Rs 200 crore) for the Umiam Hydro Power Station Renovation Project and the Umiam Stage II Hydro Power Station Renovation and Modernization Project.


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