Workshop on “Need & Prospects of Center of Excellence (CoE) at TTL for hydro- turbine development in Nepal”

Turbine Testing Lab (TTL), Kathmandu University organized a workshop on “Need and Prospects of Center of Excellence (CoE) at TTL for hydro-turbine development in Nepal” with the support from EnergizeNepal Project on August 7, 2017. The workshop was organized as a kickoff of discussions and partnership building for achieving short-term and long-term goals of the CoE at TTL. The workshop also aimed to ensure visibility and impact of KU in bringing knowledge to the development of society.  The program was attended by Mr. Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, Honorary Energy Minister, Government of Nepal,  Mr. Kul Man Ghising, Managing Director, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA);  Mr. Kumar Pandey, Vice-President Independant Power Producers’ Association Nepal (IPPAN); Mr. Gyanendra Lal Pradhan,Treasurer, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (IPPAN),  and representatives from organizations and industries of Nepal [Institue of Engineering (IoE), Hydroelectricity Investment & Development Company Limited (HIDCL), Vidyut Utpadan Company Limited (VUCL), Sanima Hydro, HydroLab, Nepal Microhydropower Development Association (NMHDA), Nepal Hydropower Association (NHA) and Himal Power Ltd.].  The program was divided into two sessions. The inaugural session was started by the welcome speech by Prof. Dr. Bhupendra Bimal Chhetri, Dean of School of Engineering which was followed by the video on TTL journey for last 5 years and its achievements & milestones. Prof. Dr. Ole Gunnar Dahlhaug, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) gave a brief video remarks on the workshop highligting the co-operation between Water Power Laboratory and TTL. The program continued with the opening remarks from Prof. Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju, Vice Chancellor-KU, Mr. Shahi (GoN) Mr. Ghising (NEA), Mr. Pandey (IPPAN), Mr. Pradhan (FNCCI) and  Prof. Dr. Bhola Thapa, Registrar- KU. All the speakers presented their ideas and suggestions about the future role of TTL for hydropower development in Nepal. The second session was conducted within a closed group, where participants from NEA, IPPAN, IoE, Sanima Hydro, Himal Power Ltd. and members from KU presented their views regarding the prospects of CoE at TTL. Dr. Biraj Singh Thapa, Asst. Prof., Department of Mechanical Engineering (DoME) presented the recent activities of TTL and overview of the workshop. The session was chaired by Dr. Hari Prasad Neopane, Head of Department, DoME. The event was co-ordinated by Mr. Nirmal Acharya, Research Associate at TTL. Mr. Sailesh Chitrakar, Phd Student, TTL and Ms.Kritika Bhandari, UNG Mechanical student emceed the program.

Followings were the major conclusions drawn based on the discussions and feedback from the participants in the workshop.

  • Lack of cooperation between the hydropower industry and academic institutions like KU/TTL. Many hydropower developers in Nepal are not aware of the roles TTL and KU can play to find the feasible solutions to the technical problems being faced. 
  • Scope of work of CoE should be clarified and should be achievable in the realistic time frame. 
  • Need of a turbine manufacturer in Nepal, particularly a company that can supply a complete ‘water-to-wire’ or ‘electro-mechanical’ package to the developers. 
  • CoE should have a rigid organizational structure and flexibility to operate in a business model. 
  • NEA and Members of IPPAN are ready to cooperate with TTL to develop the proposed CoE. Both organizations expect realistic plans and proposals to clarify how such CoE will benefit the hydropower development in Nepal, in short-term, medium-term and long-term basis. 
  • KU/TTL should have rigorous internal discussions and come up with a clear road map to develop the proposed CoE.

Please follow the link for online news coverage and for epaper version on National newspaper “Nagariknews” dated 22nd August, 2017 (6th Bhadra 2074).