The 36MW Chanju-I hydropower project in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is set to commence operations, I A Energy and Entura announced today.

News that the project work had concluded was confirmed during a hydropower roundtable hosted by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission in New Delhi, attended by Tasmania’s Minister for Energy, Matthew Groom; representatives of the Ministry of Power, Government of India; and members of the private sector.

The project involved construction of a 16m high barrage, a 4.1 km head race tunnel, two underground desilting chambers, underground pressure tunnels, pressure shafts and a surface power house.

The participation of the private sector in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in India was approved in 2005. Chanju-I was awarded to I A Energy through a competitive bidding process and the business engaged Entura in 2007 to provide technical expertise in optimising design and construction, costing, contract packaging, selection of equipment, scheduling and project management.

“This is a very important moment for us at I A Energy as Chanju-I was our first step towards diversifying into the renewable energy sector,” said I A Energy Managing Director Narendra Goel. “We’re very pleased to have worked with Entura to develop a safe, cost-effective and sustainable run-of-river hydropower station that will support India’s need for new renewable electricity supply.”

Entura’s involvement over the full cycle of the project helped I A Energy ensure the right location, access and water availability for a viable project, they said in a statment. The firm developed an effective design for the project, ensured its progress through development approval, and played an ongoing role during construction.

“Chanju-I is a very special project as we have been involved with it since its inception, and today we are delighted to be celebrating its completion,” said Ajay Sharma, Entura India’s Managing Director. “We are very proud of having supported the successful entry of a private sector player in India’s hydropower market, which will certainly inspire others that might be considering renewable energy but don’t have the expertise.

“Chanju-I demonstrates the extensive hydropower experience and skills of our teams in India and Australia, which enabled I A Energy to overcome a number of challenges throughout the different phases of the project, delivering valuable outcomes such as increasing the asset capacity from 25 MW to 36 MW.”