Contractors working on the headrace tunnel (HRT) of the Sunkoshi Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project (SMDMP) achieved breakthrough on 8 May 2024, Jade Consult Pvt Ltd announced.

The breakthrough was marked at an event presided over by Honorable Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”.

Led by Nepal's Department of Water Resources and Irrigation, the SMDMP aims to reroute water from the Sunkoshi River to a new powerhouse on the Marin River, a venture poised to benefit an extensive area encompassing 122,000 hectares across Rautahat, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, and Bara Districts. Beyond its irrigation implications, the project boasts an installed hydropower capacity of 31.07MW.

Facilitating the realization of this project is the joint venture of SMEC (Australia), EMAY (Turkey), Jade (Nepal), and CMS (Nepal), in collaboration with ECoCode (Nepal). 

Construction begun on the 13.1km tunnel in late 2022. The SMDMP comprises a conventional concrete diversion weir structure (barrage and under sluice bay) across the Sunkoshi River. The diverted water will be passed through a desander to remove silt, before being conveyed via the new headrace tunnel.

Image courtesy Jade Consult Pvt Ltd