Despite being the world’s second richest country in terms of inland water resources, Nepal still has enormous untapped potential for hydropower development, thanks to its many perennial rivers that flow down from the high Himalayan Mountains towards low-lying plains in the south and into India.

The government of Nepal has set an ambitious target to reach 5 GW total hydropower capacity over the next five years. With limited conventional energy resources, this is key to ensuring that 100% of the population (up from the current 70%) has access to reliable electricity.

Leveraging our global expertise in dams and hydropower projects, SMEC has been appointed by the Department of Electricity Development to undertake the Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Assessment on the Kaligandaki Hydropower Project (844 MW) in Nepal. Located along the border between Parbat and Myagdi, this is a multipurpose storage hydropower project that will utilize river discharge flowing into the Kaligandaki River. The planned location of the proposed project is 1 to 2km upstream from the confluence of Kaligandaki and Seti Rivers, with elevation of around 530 m and inundation up to around 750m. The reservoir volume has been calculated to approximately 2043 mm3.

This appointment follows SMEC’s assignment in late 2019 to the proposed Simbuwa Khola Hydroelectric Project (70.34 MW) in the Taplejung district of Nepal by Remit Hydro Ltd., utilizing the flow of Simbuwa Khola, a tributary of Arun River. SMEC’s services include updating the feasibility study, detailed engineering surveys and design and preparation of tender documents. The project will generate 378.96 GWh of electricity annually which will be evacuated through the Koshi Corridor Transmission Line.

“With rising demand for power, Nepal’s economic wellbeing depends heavily on hydropower development,” says Kamalesh Pradhananga, Team Leader on the Kaligandaki Storage Hydropower project. “SMEC has a long track record of delivering hydropower projects in remote, complex environments, and we’re able to tap that experience combined with specialist engineering expertise to deliver technical and sustainable solutions for our clients and partners.”