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Nepali PM attends tunnel breakthrough ceremony

Updated: 2019-04-19

The breakthrough ceremony for the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project designed by POWERCHINA Kunming Engineering Co was held in Surkhet district of Karnali province, Nepal on April 16.

Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi, Nepali Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun, and US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry attended the ceremony.

It is the first inter-basin water transfer project in Nepal. The main part is a tunnel with a total length of 12.2 kilometers, which is designed to transfer water from the Bheri River to the Babai River, providing irrigation for 51,000 hectares of farmland in Banke and Bardiya districts to alleviate food shortages.

Nepali PM attends tunnel breakthrough ceremony

Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli (M) attends the breakthrough ceremony for the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project in Nepal on April 16. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

Using a 152meter drop between the two rivers, it is possible to build a power station with an installed capacity of 48 megawatts in the future, which will help solve the current situation of power shortages in central and western Nepal.

Nepali PM Oli said that the early completion of the project is of great significance to the development of Nepal. All people should unite and work hard to promote the country's forward development, which also requires friendly countries to offer help in terms of technology and funding.

Chinese ambassador Hou noted that the success of the project has proved that cooperation between China and Nepal is efficient and mutually beneficial. He also explained the "consultation, sharing, co-construction" principle running through the process of the Belt and Road construction.

The tunnel passes through the complex strata of the Sivalik Hills, a mountain range of the outer Himalayas, where there are numerous geological risks such as fault zones, desertification strata, and water inrush.

Under such conditions compounded by a tight timeline and heavy tasks, POWERCHINA Kunming Engineering Co sent a design team with strong business and excellent foreign language skills to work.

The main design passed the supervision and approval at one time. The design plan, which completely adopts international standards, was meticulously evaluated and received strong appraisal from the owner and the general contractor, which effectively ensured the smooth implementation of the project.