National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) has stated in a stock filing dated 27th February 2023 that it has been accorded investment approval for the 2,880 MW Dibang Hydro project in Arunachal Pradesh by Government of India (GoI). The estimated cost of this project is Rs. 31,876.39 crore.
NHPC’s release further states that the aforementioned total amount includes a sum of Rs. 6,159.40 crore for flood moderation component, and another sum of Rs. 556.15 crore to be used towards developing infrastructure such as roads and bridges associated with the project.
India’s Largest Hydro Project to be Developed near Indo-China Border
Dibang Multipurpose project on the Dibang river in Arunachal’s Lower Dibang Valley district will have 12 underground power generation units each of 240 MW capacity, generating about 11,223 Million Units (MU) of energy in a 90% dependable year. Therefore, this project will be India’s largest hydropower project till date, leaving behind the 2,400 MW Tehri Hydropower Complex in Uttarakhand.
The Dibang project will boast the highest concrete gravity dam in India with a dam height of 278 metres. As per NHPC, this dam is situated about 1.5 km upstream of the meeting point of Ashu Pani and Dibang rivers, approximately 43 km from Roing, the Headquarters of the Lower Dibang Valley district.
Water will be transported via 6 horseshoe-shaped head race tunnels, each 9 meters in diameter. These head race tunnels will have lengths between 300 to 600 metres. Water will be carried away from the generation units via 6 horseshoe-shaped tail race tunnels of 9-metre diameter, and lengths varying from 320 to 470 metres.
Arunachal Govt. & LADF to get Free Power from Dibang Project
Out of the total power generated by the Dibang hydro project, the Arunachal Pradesh state government will get 12% free power, or about 1,346.76 MU. Moreover, Local Area Development Fund (LADF) will be given 1% of the total power from the project, that is about 112 MU, for free. As per NHPC’s release this free electricity will amount to Rs 26,785 crore worth of benefit to Arunachal Pradesh and LADF over the project’s 40-year life.
LADF was formed in 2022 by the Arunachal state government for areas which are affected by hydropower projects.