India, Bhutan ink preliminary pact for four hydropower projects
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New Delhi: In a move that will strengthen the strategic partnership between India and Bhutan, the two countries have signed a preliminary pact for the joint construction of four hydropower projects in the landlocked country that is expected to generate 2,120 megawatts (MW) of electricity, a foreign ministry statement said on Tuesday.
The agreement between Bhutan and India was signed on Monday in Thimphu, the statement said.
The largest of the four projects is the 770MW Chamkarchu project; the others include the 600MW Kholongchu hydel power project, the 180MW Bunakha project and the 570MW Wangchu hydel project, the statement said.
“Hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation, providing clean electricity to India, generating export revenues for Bhutan, and further strengthening our bilateral economic linkages,” it said.
Three hydroelectric projects totalling 1,416MW, which includes the 336MW Chukha project, the 60MW Kurichu project, and the 1,020MW Tala project, are already operational in Bhutan and are supplying electricity to India, according to the Indian foreign ministry.
Three others totalling 2,940MW, which include the 1,200MW Punatsangchu-I, the 1,020MW Punatsangchu-II and the 720MW Mangdehchu project that are under construction, and are scheduled to be commissioned by 2018, a foreign ministry official said, requesting anonymity.