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Wapda firmly committed for the growth of water and hydropower sectors

The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is committed for optimum development of water and hydropower resources in the country. Currently, the management is constructing six hydropower projects with cumulative generation capacity of 4792 megawatt (MW). These projects include 969MW Neelum Jhelum, 1410MW Tarbela 4th Extension, 106-MWGolen Gol, 128MW Keyal Khwar, 2160MW Dasu (Stage-I) and 18.9MW Kurram Tangi Dam Project (Stage-I). Out of them, three projects of 2,485MW are scheduled to be completed by the year 2018.

Sources in WAPDA told Pakistan and Gulf Economist (PAGE) that water sector projects which are under construction include Kachhi Canal (Phase-I), Nai Gaj Dam, Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD)-I and III, and lining of Muzaffargarh and Taunsa Panjnad Link Canals. About seven other projects in water and hydropower sectors are ready for construction. These projects include Diamer Basha Dam, Bunji Hydropower Project, and Mohmand Dam etc, the sources added.

Sources claim WAPDA is facing challenges in water flows and storage capacity, per capita availability of water, impact of climate change on water resources, water management water conservation and tapping true hydropower potential of the country.

The sources reveal that power sector reforms are underway along with power sector projects in efforts aimed at overcoming the electricity shortages in the country. The other measures include improvement in transmission and distribution systems, automatic metering infrastructure, net metering and better customer services etc.

Moreover, as many as 13 big and small dams are under construction in various parts of the country aimed at water storage and cheap hydel generation. These dams included Nai Gaj Dam (Sindh), Kurrram Tangi Dam (FATA), Diamer Basha (GB), Ghabir Dam (Chakwal), small dams in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sanam, Palai and Kundal dams. These projects were at various stages of development.

It may be noted that Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved construction of 100 small dams in Balochistan with an estimated cost of Rs7,829.874 million during the current fiscal year.

Furthermore, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority is moving forward with a modernization project at the 1,000MW Mangla hydroelectric project to increase the facility’s generating output by 310MW at an estimated cost of Rs52.224 billion (US$769 million). The Mangla hydropower project is a multipurpose facility located on the Jhelum River in Mirpur district of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It includes Mangla Dam, which is the seventh largest dam in the world; the country’s largest reservoir, which has a live storage capacity of 7.48 million acre feet; and 10 generating units.

In 2015 WAPDA sought bids for the project that included Package I, turbine-generators for Units 5 and 6, and Package II, turbine-generators for Units 1-4. Works include hydraulic turbine modeling; six new 155-MW runners; six sets of guide vanes; six new 168.75-MVa generator stators; a machine condition monitoring system; six new digital governor systems including new cabinet actuators; refurbishment/replacement of turbine, generator and governor components; six digital static excitation systems; refurbishment of turbine inlet valves; and start-up, commissioning and performance testing.

In late December WAPDA announced the first six turbines will each be rehabilitated and modernized to increase output by 35MW in increments of two, in three phases: Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in December 2018; Phase 2 by December 2019; and Phase 3 by December 2020. As per estimates, refurbishment of all 10 generating units will be completed by 2024. With these developments, we can say that good time is ahead with regard to electricity production in the country.

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