Representational image.

India on Monday signed a concession agreement with Bhutan for the 600 MW Kholongchhu Hydroelectric Project in the virtual presence of external affairs minister S Jayshankar.

The 600 MW run-of-the-river project is located on the lower course of the Kholongchhu River in Trashiyangtse district in Eastern Bhutan.

The project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 meters height.

It will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited, a Joint Venture lunched between Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) of India.

The concession agreement will lead to commencement of construction and other works of this first Joint Venture Hydroelectric Project between India and Bhutan.

The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025.

Both India and Bhutan emphasized the importance of hydro power development as an important pillar of mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation.

S Jayshankar recalled the trust, co-operation and mutual respect that have long characterized the unique and special friendship, anchored in mutual understanding and reinforced by a shared cultural heritage and strong people to people links between India and Bhutan.

Hydropower sector is the flagship area of India-Bhutan bilateral cooperation.

The 720 MW Mangdechhu hydroelectric project was jointly inaugurated earlier in August, 2019 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutan counterpart Lotay Tshering.

With this, four hydroelectric projects of bilateral cooperation (336 MW Chukha HEP, 60 MW Kurichhu HEP, 1020 MW Tala HEP and 720 MW Mangdechhu HEP), totaling over 2100 MW, are already operational in Bhutan.

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