The 510MW, Teesta (stage V) hydro project in the state of Sikkim in India is moving ahead.

The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) has already started the two-part bid process for the work, and global notices have been issued seeking requests for qualification.

The project, located on the river Teesta will consist of a 95m high concrete dam, with an 18km long headrace tunnel and tailrace tunnels. The powerhouse will have three vertical Francis turbines of 170MW each, designed for a net head of 197m. Civil works are due for completion within 54 months after the contract has been scheduled for the end of 2000.

The equity for the US$500M project will come from the federal government through budgetary support, although Y Prasad, chairman of NHPC, has not ruled out the possibility of taking on a private partner as a minority share holder.

NHPC is currently talking to independent power producers who responded to NHPC’s bid notice for partners to develop some of its future projects including the Teesta V project. NHPC plans to commission the Teesta V project by the year 2005.