Top 10 Hydropowers of Nepal

Last updated on 2022-09-25
Top 10 Hydropowers of Nepal

In our nation, there are around 6000 rivers with a total reach length of 45000 km. They make for around 3.9 percent of Nepal's total land area. Our primary water resources are also the snowy mountains and glacial lakes. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) and several Independent Power Producers own the majority of hydropower projects in Nepal. Several hydroelectric projects are now under construction and will be finished in the next few years. The majority of Nepal's existing hydropower is of the run-of-river variety. Here are the top ten hydropower projects in Nepal, based on Megawatt electricity produced.

*The ranking is based on the total Megawatts produced provided by the Nepal Electricity Authority.

10. Kulekhani II Hydropower

Kulekhani II Hydropower
Image Source: Nepal Energy forum

Kulekhani -II Hydropower Station is a cascade of Kulekhani -1 and is located in Nibuwatar, Makwanpur. It has a total installed capacity of 32 MW, including two 16 MW units. This powerhouse was built as a peaking power plant, but it also serves as an emergency standby station. The yearly projected primary energy generating capacity is 104.6 GWH. At a cost of NRs.124 million, this project was built with financial help from Japan's Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) and the Nepalese government.

  • MegaWatt : 32
  • Location : Makwanpur
  • Owner : NEA

9. Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower

Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower
Image Source: Engineerkhabar

The Upper Bhote Koshi Project is a run-of-the-river power plant in Sindhupalchok which was constructed between 1997 and 2000 with power generation starting in January 2001. Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower generates 45 MW of electricity. The project cost a total of US$98 million for which the majority of finances was provided by Panda Energy International.

  • MegaWatt : 45
  • Location : Sindhupalchowk
  • Owner : Bhotekoshi Power Company Ltd.

8. Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower

Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower
Image Source: Swnepal

Upper Marsyangdi “A” hydropower in Lamjung produces 50 MW of energy. The hydropower plant's construction began in October 2021 and was finished in September 2016. It is the first hydroelectric project in Nepal to be directly funded by foreign investment, with Power China Resources Ltd forming a joint venture with a Nepalese hydropower firm, Sino-Sagarmatha Power Company Ltd. The Power China Resources Company owns 90% of the facility, while the Sino-Sagarmatha Power Company owns 10% of the hydropower.

  • MegaWatt : 50
  • Location : Lamjung
  • Owner : Sinohydro-Sagarmatha Power Company (P) Ltd.

7. Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower

Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower
Image Source: Kathmandupost

Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower is a run-of-river hydropower station near Rasuwa. The hydroelectric plant generates 60 MW of power. The project cost a total of $125.775 million, which was funded by China Exim Bank and overseen by the Nepal Electricity Authority. The project's construction began in April 2011 and will be finished in November 2019. The project contributes a total of 8% of the country's electricity consumption.

  • MegaWatt : 60
  • Location : Rasuwa
  • Owner : NEA

6. Kulekhani I Hydropower

Kulekhani I Hydropower
Image Source: Techlekh

Kulekhani I is Nepal's only reservoir-type hydropower station, with an installed capacity of 60 MW and two stations, each with a capacity of 30 MW, located in Dolakha. This project was built with the help of the World Bank, the Kuwait Fund, the OPEC Fund, the UNDP, and the Japan Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF). The total project cost was US$ 117.843 million, so the project was transferred to NEA with a capital cost of around NRs. 1,550 million. The hydropower plant generates 165 GWh of energy per year.

  • MegaWatt : 60
  • Location : Makwanpur
  • Owner : NEA

5. Khimti Khola Hydropower

Khimti Khola Hydropower
Image Source: Statkraft

Khimti hydro, located in Janakpur, Central Development Region, has a capacity of 60 MW and produces 350 GWh of energy per year. The construction of the project began in 1993, but work did not begin until after the financial close in June 1996, and it was completed in 2000. The plant is operated by Himal Power Limited, which sells electricity to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). A consortium of NCC Tunnelling, Statkraft Anlegg (Norwegian company), and Himal Hydro carried out the project's civil design and construction works.

  • MegaWatt : 60
  • Location : Dolakha
  • Owner : Himal Power Ltd.

4. Marsyangdi Hydropower

Marsyangdi Hydropower
Image Source: Streetnepal

The Marsyangdi hydroelectric power station is a pass-through power plant with a 69 MW installed capacity, and annual design production of 462.5 GWh. The hydropower, located at Aanbu Khaireni, Tanahun in the central area, some 114 kilometers west of Kathmandu, was completed in 1989 with funding from IDA, KFW, KFED, ADB, and GON for $ 22 million. The electricity generated here is connected to the national transmission line through the Balaju metro stations in Kathmandu and Bharatpur in Chitwan.

  • MegaWatt : 69
  • Location : Tanahu
  • Owner : NEA

3. Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower

Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower
Image Source: Microtechmne

The Middle Marsyangdi hydroelectric project in Nepal is the country's second-biggest hydroelectric project. The Middle Marsyangdi hydropower station has a capacity of 76 MW. This project, located 170 kilometers west of Kathmandu, began in 2001 and was finished in 2007. The Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower station produces 398 GWh of energy per year and has the most advanced technology of any NEA power project.

  • MegaWatt : 70
  • Location : Lamjung
  • Owner : NEA

2. Kaligandaki A Hydropower

Kaligandaki A Hydropower
Image Source: Wikipedia

Kaligandaki A, a hydroelectric power station is located in Mirmi in the Syangja District, some 300 kilometers west of Kathmandu and 100 kilometers from Pokhara in the same direction. The hydroelectric project is Nepal's largest hydropower project with a total installed capacity of 144 MW, with three units each capable of 48 MW. It was built with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, with a total cost of US$354.8 million (50 billion NPR), and is operated by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

  • MegaWatt : 144
  • Location : Syangja
  • Owner : NEA

1. Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower
Image Source: eKantipur

The Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project is a run-of-river hydroelectric project in Nepal with a peak capacity of 456 MW. It has been in operation since July 2021, making it Nepal's largest hydropower plant. It is located near the Nepal–Tibet border on the Tamakoshi River, a tributary of the Sunkoshi river. Four public bodies own the majority of the company, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Nepal Telecom, Citizen Investment Trust , and Rastriya Beema Sansthan.

  • MegaWatt : 456
  • Location : Sunkoshi
  • Owner : NEA

page view count (for last 7 days) : 93

10.

Kulekhani II Hydropower

9.

Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower

8.

Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower

7.

Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower

6.

Kulekhani I Hydropower

5.

Khimti Khola Hydropower

4.

Marsyangdi Hydropower

3.

Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower

2.

Kaligandaki A Hydropower

1.

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower

10. Kulekhani II Hydropower

Kulekhani II Hydropower
Image Source: Nepal Energy forum

Kulekhani -II Hydropower Station is a cascade of Kulekhani -1 and is located in Nibuwatar, Makwanpur. It has a total installed capacity of 32 MW, including two 16 MW units. This powerhouse was built as a peaking power plant, but it also serves as an emergency standby station. The yearly projected primary energy generating capacity is 104.6 GWH. At a cost of NRs.124 million, this project was built with financial help from Japan's Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) and the Nepalese government.

  • MegaWatt : 32
  • Location : Makwanpur
  • Owner : NEA

9. Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower

Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower
Image Source: Engineerkhabar

The Upper Bhote Koshi Project is a run-of-the-river power plant in Sindhupalchok which was constructed between 1997 and 2000 with power generation starting in January 2001. Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower generates 45 MW of electricity. The project cost a total of US$98 million for which the majority of finances was provided by Panda Energy International.

  • MegaWatt : 45
  • Location : Sindhupalchowk
  • Owner : Bhotekoshi Power Company Ltd.

8. Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower

Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower
Image Source: Swnepal

Upper Marsyangdi “A” hydropower in Lamjung produces 50 MW of energy. The hydropower plant's construction began in October 2021 and was finished in September 2016. It is the first hydroelectric project in Nepal to be directly funded by foreign investment, with Power China Resources Ltd forming a joint venture with a Nepalese hydropower firm, Sino-Sagarmatha Power Company Ltd. The Power China Resources Company owns 90% of the facility, while the Sino-Sagarmatha Power Company owns 10% of the hydropower.

  • MegaWatt : 50
  • Location : Lamjung
  • Owner : Sinohydro-Sagarmatha Power Company (P) Ltd.

7. Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower

Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower
Image Source: Kathmandupost

Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower is a run-of-river hydropower station near Rasuwa. The hydroelectric plant generates 60 MW of power. The project cost a total of $125.775 million, which was funded by China Exim Bank and overseen by the Nepal Electricity Authority. The project's construction began in April 2011 and will be finished in November 2019. The project contributes a total of 8% of the country's electricity consumption.

  • MegaWatt : 60
  • Location : Rasuwa
  • Owner : NEA

6. Kulekhani I Hydropower

Kulekhani I Hydropower
Image Source: Techlekh

Kulekhani I is Nepal's only reservoir-type hydropower station, with an installed capacity of 60 MW and two stations, each with a capacity of 30 MW, located in Dolakha. This project was built with the help of the World Bank, the Kuwait Fund, the OPEC Fund, the UNDP, and the Japan Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF). The total project cost was US$ 117.843 million, so the project was transferred to NEA with a capital cost of around NRs. 1,550 million. The hydropower plant generates 165 GWh of energy per year.

  • MegaWatt : 60
  • Location : Makwanpur
  • Owner : NEA

5. Khimti Khola Hydropower

Khimti Khola Hydropower
Image Source: Statkraft

Khimti hydro, located in Janakpur, Central Development Region, has a capacity of 60 MW and produces 350 GWh of energy per year. The construction of the project began in 1993, but work did not begin until after the financial close in June 1996, and it was completed in 2000. The plant is operated by Himal Power Limited, which sells electricity to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). A consortium of NCC Tunnelling, Statkraft Anlegg (Norwegian company), and Himal Hydro carried out the project's civil design and construction works.

  • MegaWatt : 60
  • Location : Dolakha
  • Owner : Himal Power Ltd.

4. Marsyangdi Hydropower

Marsyangdi Hydropower
Image Source: Streetnepal

The Marsyangdi hydroelectric power station is a pass-through power plant with a 69 MW installed capacity, and annual design production of 462.5 GWh. The hydropower, located at Aanbu Khaireni, Tanahun in the central area, some 114 kilometers west of Kathmandu, was completed in 1989 with funding from IDA, KFW, KFED, ADB, and GON for $ 22 million. The electricity generated here is connected to the national transmission line through the Balaju metro stations in Kathmandu and Bharatpur in Chitwan.

  • MegaWatt : 69
  • Location : Tanahu
  • Owner : NEA

3. Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower

Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower
Image Source: Microtechmne

The Middle Marsyangdi hydroelectric project in Nepal is the country's second-biggest hydroelectric project. The Middle Marsyangdi hydropower station has a capacity of 76 MW. This project, located 170 kilometers west of Kathmandu, began in 2001 and was finished in 2007. The Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower station produces 398 GWh of energy per year and has the most advanced technology of any NEA power project.

  • MegaWatt : 70
  • Location : Lamjung
  • Owner : NEA

2. Kaligandaki A Hydropower

Kaligandaki A Hydropower
Image Source: Wikipedia

Kaligandaki A, a hydroelectric power station is located in Mirmi in the Syangja District, some 300 kilometers west of Kathmandu and 100 kilometers from Pokhara in the same direction. The hydroelectric project is Nepal's largest hydropower project with a total installed capacity of 144 MW, with three units each capable of 48 MW. It was built with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank, with a total cost of US$354.8 million (50 billion NPR), and is operated by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).

  • MegaWatt : 144
  • Location : Syangja
  • Owner : NEA

1. Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower
Image Source: eKantipur

The Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project is a run-of-river hydroelectric project in Nepal with a peak capacity of 456 MW. It has been in operation since July 2021, making it Nepal's largest hydropower plant. It is located near the Nepal–Tibet border on the Tamakoshi River, a tributary of the Sunkoshi river. Four public bodies own the majority of the company, Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Nepal Telecom, Citizen Investment Trust , and Rastriya Beema Sansthan.

  • MegaWatt : 456
  • Location : Sunkoshi
  • Owner : NEA

10.

Kulekhani II Hydropower

9.

Upper Bhotekoshi Hydropower

8.

Upper Marsyangdi A Hydropower

7.

Upper Trishuli 3A Hydropower

6.

Kulekhani I Hydropower

5.

Khimti Khola Hydropower

4.

Marsyangdi Hydropower

3.

Middle Marsyangdi Hydropower

2.

Kaligandaki A Hydropower

1.

Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower