The 850MW GVK Ratle hydroelectric power project is being developed in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. Credit: RaviC.
The project will consist of four Francis turbines of 205MW each and a 30MW auxiliary unit.
Alstom will supply the Francis turbines for the Ratle project.

GVK Ratle is an 850MW run-of-river hydroelectric power project being built on the Chenab River in the Kishtwar District of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India.

The project is being developed by GVK Ratle Hydro Electric Project, a unit of GVK Power and an independent power producer (IPP).

Construction started in June 2013, with the first power generation expected in 2018. It is estimated that the plant will generate 3136.77GWh of energy in a 90% hydrological-dependable year. It is expected to reduce CO₂ emissions by 2.85Mt a year from the atmosphere.

It has cost Rs64.51bn (approximately $1.01bn) and will be one of the biggest hydroelectric power plants in J&K upon completion.

GVK Ratle hydroelectric power project details

Ratle is the first hydropower project in India to be awarded on a tariff-based international competitive bidding (ICB) process. The bid was won by GVK Developmental Projects (GVKDPPL), who will develop the project on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) named GVK Ratle Hydro Electric Power Project was formed for the development.

GVK will return the project ownership to J&K after 35 years of operation. It will be located between the downstream of the 390MW Dulhasti project and upstream of 450MW Baglihar project.

GVK Ratle hydroelectric power project construction

Construction work at the 850MW project includes the construction of access roads, a concrete dam, reservoir, diversion tunnels, spillways and a powerhouse.

Ratle plant design and specifications

The project includes the construction of a 195m-long and 133m-high concrete gravity dam with a sluice-type spillway that has a capacity to pass a maximum flood of 11,590m³ per second.

A diversion dam, with a submergence area of one million metres squared at full reservoir level (FRL), will be built within the river gorge area. Flood water will be diverted by two diversion tunnels of 11m diameter, which will be built along the right bank of the river.

The intake structures will be located approximately 40m upstream of the dam axis and will be connected to the powerhouse by four steel-lined pressure shafts/tunnels of 6.6m diameter.

Four underground tail race tunnels (TRTs) will be built to release the water back to the river.

The underground powerhouse, to be located at the right bank of the river, will consist of four 205MW Francis turbine-generating units and a 30MW auxiliary powerhouse.

Transmission and sale of power

The 11kV power generated at the plant will be increased to 400kV by unit step-transformers. This will then be transmitted to Powergrid’s 400kV Kishenpur substation using two 400kV transmission lines. One line will be interconnected with the existing Kishtwar substation while the other is expected to be connected to the proposed Shamnot HEP.

The J&K Power Development Department (PDD) signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) in June 2010 to buy 55% of the power generated by the plant. A further 16% of the power will be received by the state for free.

All remaining power will be sold as merchant power.

Ratle Hydroelectric contractors

GVK Developmental Projects (GVKDPPL) was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by the J&K State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC), on behalf of the PDD.

Alstom was awarded the contract for the supply of the Francis turbines, while the Infrastructure IC division of L&T Construction was contracted in November 2012 for major construction work.

AECS Engineering and Geotechnical Services conducted rock mechanics tests for the project.

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