The Luhri Stage-1 Hydro Electric Project will be located in Himachal Pradesh, India. Image Representative. (Credit: Sumit Mahar at
Contract signing ceremony. (Credit: SJVN Ltd.)
The project is being built on Satluj River. (Credit: SJVN Ltd.)

The Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project is a 210MW run-of-river hydroelectric development in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, India.

The project is being developed by Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh state.

In March 2015, the state government advised SJVN to assess the implementation of a three-stage Luhri hydroelectric project to harness the hydel power potential of Satluj river minimising social and environmental impacts.

Luhri Stage-I forms the first phase of a hydroelectric project. It is expected to be followed by 172MW Luhri Stage-II and 382MW Sunni Dam HEP.

In June 2017, the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the project was published.

The Government of India’s Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved an investment of around INR18.10bn ($242m) in November 2020 for the hydroelectric project. The government also approved a grant worth INR661.9m ($8.8m) to fund the enabling infrastructure.

The foundation stone of the Luhri Stage-I Hydroelectric Project was laid by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2021. It is scheduled to be commissioned in January 2026.

Luhri HEP Stage-I Project Location

The Luhri HEP Stage-I will be located on the Satluj River near Nirath Village in the Kullu and Shimla districts, approximately 100km from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, India.

The 412MW Rampur hydroelectric project is situated upstream of the project site, while the 800MW Kol dam hydroelectric project is located downstream 40km away.

The free flow space between tail race end of the Rampur Hydro power project and the lip of the Luhri HEP Stage-I reservoir is 1km.

Overall, the project will require a total area of 149.0716 hectares (ha). The project may impact eight revenue villages submerging around 100.231-hectare land.

Kalka is the nearest rail-head from the site around 210km away. It can be accessed via National Highway NH-05 via Shimla, Narkanda, and Sainj.

Luhri HEP Stage-I Project Details

The hydroelectric project is planned as a run-of-river type development with an 80m high concrete gravity dam on Satluj River. The length of the reservoir will be 6km with a total storage capacity of 25.2 million cubic metre (MCM).

A surface toe power house will be built on the right bank of the river near Nirath village. It will have two 80MW main power units and two 25MW auxiliary power units. All four units will use Kaplan turbines.

The upper-level Ogee type spillway of the dam will have one flap flap gate, while the sluice type lower-level spillway with feature six radial gates.

A 567m long horse-shoe shaped diversion tunnel with a diameter of 10m was proposed to pass 750m3/sec diversion flood with cofferdams upstream and downstream.

The cofferdam will have a top width of 8m, while upstream and downstream cofferdams will have Elevation Levels (EL) 830m and EL 814m. The diversion tunnel will be constructed on the right bank of the Satluj River.

There will be two semi-circular intake structures in Blocks 10 and 11 to discharge 245.4m3/sec of water each and two straight intake structures in Block 12 to discharge 76.69m3/sec of water each. The total discharge carrying capacity of all four intake structures will be 644.18m3/sec.

Two 6.8m diameter penstocks with a discharge carrying capacity of 245.4m3/sec are proposed for the project. Another two 4m diameter penstocks will be used with a discharge carrying capacity of 76.69m3/sec.

The tail race tunnels will receive water from the turbines via draft tubes.

According to the Grid Connectivity Regulation 2010, power evacuation planning of a hydro project with a capacity more than 50MW would be carried out by the Nodal Agency i.e. Power grid. The evacuation plan is yet to be finalised.

The construction works for the hydroelectric project are expected be completed in five years.

Benefits of LHEP Stage-I Project

Once operational, Luhri Stage-I will generate up to 758.2 million units of electricity annually, improving grid stability and power supplies.

This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 610 thousand tonnes from the environment annually, improving air quality.

The construction activities will also generate direct and indirect employment for around 2,000 persons. Additionally, the state of Himachal Pradesh will benefit with free power worth around INR11.4bn from Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project over its life of 40 years.

Contractors Involved

A consortium of Patel Engineering and HES Infra won key civil and hydro-mechanical works package contract for the hydropower project. The contract includes design & engineering services, civil and hydro-mechanical works of key components of the project.

In July 2022, Kalpataru Power Transmission was awarded the contract for the construction of 220kV transmission line from switchyard to the common pooling station.

Voith Hydro was selected in July 2021 to deliver design or drawings of EOT crane, spiral casing, DT liner, pit liner, and generator foundation for the project.

The social impact assessment study for land acquisition for Luhri Stage-I was prepared by AFC India.

The Environmental Economic Assessment (EIA) report for the project was prepared by Interstellar Testing Centre (formerly International Testing Centre).