Heo HEP Project is a run-of-the-river hydropower project in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, in North-eastern India.
With a planned installed capacity of 240MW, it is the largest and most advanced in a cascade of three projects totalling 571 MW on the Yarjep River. Velcan has been developing the Heo Project since 2007. At the time, the installed capacity was expected to be approximately 90 MW. However, the abundance of water as well as Velcan’s proprietary engineering work over a number of years prompted the capacity to be revised to 240 MW as approved by Central Electricity Authority.
In July 2015, after 8 years of site investigations and technical studies, Velcan obtained the Techno-Economic Clearance (TEC) for the Project from the Central Electricity Authority. The Detailed Project report (DPR) approved by the CEA had been submitted in July 2013. All of its technical and economic features were examined by 19 separate directorates. The approval thus validates and sets the technical characteristics, the costs estimates and the tariffs of the forthcoming hydropower plant.
As per its approved TEC, once built, the Heo project will generate a gross 1,000 million units (KWh) per annum at a competitive price, based on Design Energy and cost estimates. The construction period is expected to be of 50 months after Financial Close. The concession period is set at 40 years after commissioning.
In April 2015, Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change approved the Environmental Clearance of the Heo Project (as well as for the Tato-I (186MW) and the Pauk (145MW) Projects) and in October 2015 it granted the Forest Clearance stage – I (which will allow the project to utilize forest land after land acquisition is completed).
These milestones were achieved after 8 years of diligent technical work, environmental studies and field work with the local population and stakeholders.
The EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) and EMP (Environment Management Plan) studies were submitted in June 2014 following successful public hearings held between August and November 2013 for the 3 projects of the cascade. These involved more than five hundred people from villages nearby. Subsequently, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), an independent, multidisciplinary body of experts, held appraisal meetings in July and August of 2014 and recommended that the Ministry grant the Final Environmental Clearance. The minor nature and small number of environmental issues raised during the committee meetings confirmed, on one hand, that the projects are environmentally friendly, whereas they will, on the other hand, have very significant positive social and economic impact on the region.
Since late 2015 VELCAN has been focusing on performing or following-up the main other development activities which are the post TEC site investigations and technical studies, the land acquisition, the transport infrastructure coordination, the amendment of the concession agreements and the stage 2 Forest Clearance. Apart for post TEC investigations, all these activities fall under the purview of the Central of State Government.
In June 2016 VELCAN submitted applications to the State Government in order to initiate the acquisition of the land required for the Project. The Social Impact Assessment and Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) draft reports have been completed and the public hearings required by the regulations in order to discuss the SIA and the SIMP with the local public have been held in all the 8 concerned villages in January 2018. The land acquisition procedure is going on under the purview of the State Government.
During FY2017 the site investigations and studies required by TEC were almost completed by Velcan.
The next step will be to look for a long term bankable Power Purchase Agreement with an electricity distribution company, which will be subject to the financial and commercial market conditions prevailing in the Indian power sector.
More information and updates about the project are available in VELCAN’s annual and bi-annual management reports.