The Uri-II hydroelectric plant is the second run-of-the-river power project on the Jhelum River in the Uri area of Baramullah District, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The state-owned National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) developed the project downstream of the existing 480MW Uri-I power plant, which was commissioned in 1997.
The 240MW Uri-II power plant consists of four 60MW generating units. Three of the four units were commissioned by the end of 2013 and the plant began commercial operations in March 2014. The project was formally inaugurated in July 2014.
The hydroelectric project is located near the border of India and Pakistan. Pakistan objected to the construction of the controversial Indian power plant, alleging the violation of the Indus Water Treaty signed between the two countries in 1960. The treaty allows the three rivers Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab, to flow into Pakistan. India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) warned of a possible terrorist attack at the project site.
Uri-II project details
The Uri-II hydroelectric project consists of a 52m-tall and 157m-long concrete gravity dam with four 9m wide spillways, a 4.23km long headrace tunnel with 8.4m diameter, a restricted orifice type surge shaft of 25m diameter, two 5m diameter steel-lined penstocks, four 3.5m diameter bifurcated steel-lined penstocks, an underground powerhouse, and a horseshoe-shaped tailrace tunnel 3.61km in length.
The project was designed to use Jhelum waters at a gross head of about 130m, following the discharge of Uri-I tail water upstream.
The powerhouse cavern of the plant is 133m-long, 15m-wide, and 40m-high. The powerhouse accommodates four Francis vertical turbines of 60MW capacity each. The plant is designed for a maximum water flow of 225cubic metres a second.
Construction of the Uri-II power project
Construction of the hydroelectric power project started in 2005. The construction work, however, suffered significant delay due to an earthquake and frequent flooding of River Jhelum. The construction required a total cost of Rs22.9bn ($350m).
Construction of the 337m-long diversion tunnel of 8.8m diameter to channelise the river for facilitating the dam construction was completed by the beginning of 2007. The dam structure, involving 100,000 cubic metres of concrete, was completed in March 2011. Construction of the powerhouse and switchyard, as well as key tunnelling works, was carried out thereafter.
Rock support methods, involving wire mesh, shotcrete, steel rib, rock bolt, and rock anchor, were used for the tunnelling work in adverse geological conditions.
The power project construction involved 1.92 million cubic metres of excavation, including 670,000 cubic metres of rock excavation and 980,000 cubic metres of underground excavation.
Uri-II power transmission
The electricity generated from the Uri-II plant is evacuated at 400kV and fed into India’s Northern grid via the 114km-long Uri-II-Uri-I Inter-connector transmission line and the Uri-II-Wagoora transmission line.
The Uri-II hydroelectric project is designed to generate 1,123.76 million units of electricity annually. The power output of the plant is supplied to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Chandigarh.
Contractors involved with the Uri-II hydroelectric project
Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), an Indian infrastructure company, was awarded the civil works contract for the Uri-II power plant construction in 2005. The contract involved the construction of dam, surge, and pressure shafts, headrace and tailrace tunnels, and the underground powerhouse.
Alstom was awarded a turnkey contract worth $91.3m for the electro-mechanical components, including four Francis turbines, generators, and auxiliaries for the Uri-II hydroelectric plant in January 2007.
Encardio-rite provided turnkey services for the project, including the supply of geotechnical sensors, along with installation and monitoring services.