Hydro power from the Himalayas


Starting some 4,000 metres high up on a Himalayan glacier, The Alaknanda River winds its way down towards the south through the state of Uttarakhand, gaining momentum, finally meeting with the Bhagirathi river to form the mighty Ganges. Some of that momentum will be harnessed by a hydroelectric plant, now under construction in the Chamoli district in Northern India.

The 444 MW hydropower construction project includes a diversion of the river into a headrace tunnel and a diversion dam of 65 m height across the river. This will create a gross head of 237 m for power generation.

A project this size requires also a number of adits, or access tunnels, to be built. The ground conditions for tunnelling work has proven to be quite challenging: the TBMs would have to drill through loose soil mixed with large – or small – boulders made up of very hard quartzite.

Machino International was selected to supply and install the piperoofing system for the TBM entry adit with Robit’s tools.

– We had heard a lot of positive feedback about Robit’s piperoofing system from previous projects, such as the IL&FS Kiratpur Ner-Chowk highway tunnel and the IRCON railway tunnel at Jammu & Kashmir. Also, Robit’s Sales Manager S.K. Back paid a personal visit on-site to meet our client and made a convincing case for Robit, says Director Vibhore Agarwal, Machino International.

Thanks to the timely supply and high quality of Robit’s ring bits and pilot bits, the goal of installing the 12-metre casing system was reached in time. Once completed, the hydroelectric plant will significantly improve the supply of electricity in the area by providing clean, renewable, low-carbon energy.


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