20,000 MW hydel projects underway: WAPDA

WAPDA

LAHORE: The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is working on hydropower projects with a cumulative generation capacity of about 20,000 MW.

Of these, projects for generating 7000 MW are in the construction phase, while the rest are in the final stage of their detailed engineering designs.This was stated by WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani while addressing a National Institute of Management (NIM) Peshawar delegation at the WAPDA House on Wednesday.The delegation was led by NIM Chief Instructor Dr Faizur Rahman.The chairman said WAPDA was executing the 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum project, the 4500 MW-Diamer Basha Dam, 1410 MW-Tarbela Fourth Extension, 7100 MW-Bunji, 4320 MW-Dasu and the 740-MW Munda Dam to cope with the increasing electricity demand.

These projects would not only help stabilise electricity tariffs by increasing the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid, but also eliminate dependence on imported oil.Responding to a question, the chairman said WAPDA had procured two state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines to expedite work on the strategically important Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project. At present, about 32 percent of the construction work is complete, while the project is expected to be completed by mid 2016, he added.

Durrani, while apprising the delegation of WAPDA’s technical expertise, said the first-ever tunnel boring machine in the world was used in Pakistan during the construction of the Mangla Dam in the 60s.Earlier, the delegation was briefed on the water and power sector by WAPDA Diamer-Basha Dam Chief Engineer Shamshad Muhammad Khan and PEPCO Energy Management and Conservation Director General Ejaz Rafiq Qureshi.WAPDA Administration Managing Director Naveed Akram Cheema and Secretary Muhammad Imtiaz Tajwar were also present on the occasion. – Nation