Thimphu: The India-assisted 720 Megawatts Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project has been handed to Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) in Bhutan.

The handover was held in Thimphu on December 27 in a ceremony that was witnessed by Bhutan's Minister of Economic Affairs Lyonpo Loknath Sharma and India's Ambassador to Bhutan, Sudhakar Dalela.

With the handing over of the project, India and Bhutan have successfully completed four mega hydroelectric power projects, Bhutan's Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement.

The 720 MW project Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering in 2019. The commissioning of the project has increased Bhutan's Electrical Power Generation Capacity by 44 per cent and it is now at 2,326 Mega Watts, according to the statement released by Bhutan's Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Indian Embassy in Bhutan tweeted, "Amb @SudhakarDalela joined Lyonpo Loknath Sharma to witness handing over of 720 MW Mangdechhu Hydro Project to Bhutan. A benchmark hydro project for the region, completed in an efficient manner at an optimal cost, maintaining high quality & performance parameters."

It further said, "The 720 MW Mangdechhu Project was jointly inaugurated by PM Shri Narendra Modi and PM Dr Lotay Tshering in August 2019. The Project has generated more than 9000 million units of energy since its commissioning, reducing 2.4 million tons of emissions annually."

Since its commissioning, the project has generated more than 9,500 million units of energy. Speaking at the event, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma thanked all the officials, engineers, designers, and workers for working on the project. He expressed gratitude to the Indian government for providing financial and technical assistance for the construction of the Project, according to the statement issued by Bhutan's Ministry of External Affairs.

Addressing the event, Sudhakar Dalela termed the project as a "benchmark project" which was completed in an optimal cost and timeframe. Dalela stressed on taking forward the India-Bhutan renewable energy cooperation.

According to the statement, the hydropower sector will continue to contribute in a "significant way" to Bhutan's economic growth and development on the basis of the philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

According to the statement, the commissioning of Mangdechhu Hydropower Project led to an increase of 31 per cent in hydropower revenues of Bhutan in 2020. In 2021, Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Power Project exported electricity worth Rs 12.13 billion to India, increasing Bhutan's electricity exports to Rs 24.43 billion.

The Mangdechhu Hydropower Project will reduce around 2.4 million tons of Green House Gas emissions each year. The Institute of Civil Engineers, London awarded the project with Brunel Medal 2020 as a recognition of its excellence in civil engineering and the project's social and environmental credentials.