While inaugurating the Pakistan's, second largest
run-of-the river Ghazi Brotha hydle power project, President General
Pervez Musharraf declared that Kala Bagh and Bhasha dams will have to
be built in order to provide electricity to the consumers at a
reasonable price.The present high cost of electricity was the result
of faulty power purchase agreements with Independent Power Producers (IPPs)
which pushed up power rates from 73 paisa per unit in 1994 to Rs.4.60
in 1998, the president observed adding that it was great injustice to
the people of Pakistan. We have to produce hydro-based electricity to
cut the cost of generation "let me make clear to every one that Bhasha
and Kala Bagh Dams would have to be constructed at every cost in order
to supply cheaper electricity to the masses", General Pervez Musharraf
declared disclosing that feasibility study of Bhasha Dam was under
preparation and would be ready by June next.
The President deplored that some elements were
instigating the people against the mega water reservoirs for their
politically motivated interests. But the situation was now changing in
the government favour which would now act swiftly to thwart any such
designs and make the masses realize that the construction of these two
major dams was in the larger interest of the nation and a key to their
progress and prosperity, the President added.
The President Commissioned the first 290 MW power
unit of 1,450 MW capacity of Ghazi Barotha hydle project. The work of
Ghazi Barotha Power Project has been completed while installation and
testing of power generation is in progress. The power project
completed with a cost of 2.06 billion dollars will generate 1,450 MW
power with five generators of 290 MW each. The first power generator
has been commissioned while the remaining generators will go into
operation after every three months interval and full generation of
1,450 MW is expected by May next year.
The donors include the World Bank, Asian
Development Bank, Japan Bank of International Cooperation, Islamic
Development Bank, KFW Germany and European Investment Bank who
contributed a total loan of 1.1 billion dollars for the project.
The PC-I of the project was approved on June 19,
1994 with a cost of Rs.89.840 billion. The contracts of a barrage,
CE-01, at Ghazi and two kilometres long water channel from Ghazi
Barotha were awarded to a consortium of contractors including an
Italian firm while the contract of power complex at Barotha Attock was
handed over to a Chinese electrical firm Dong Fong.
The report indicated a delay of over two years in
the completion of the project due to the suspension and slow pace of
work. While the annual loss owing to increase in the cost of project
comes to Rs.11,400 million and the authority has to pay extra cost of
Rs.22,800 million on account of two years delay.
Another reason for delay in the completion of the
project was the stoppage of construction work by the contractors in
the aftermath of the September 11 events. The delay, sources informed
was costing one million dollars per day to WAPDA and the total loss
had reached to about 110 million dollars. The construction of the
project resumed in March 2002 and most of the foreign employees were
recalled. They said over one billion rupees were paid to GBC against
The GBHP would produce electricity at economically
viable rate of around 60 paisa per unit, which would not only boost
the financial position of the cash starved WAPDA but consumers may
also get some relief, sources said.
The project provides power peaking capacity
throughout the year, with full power generation during the months of
May and June when there is reduced generation from Tarbela and Mangla
as a result of low reservoir levels. Moreover, it will improve the
thermal to hydel ratio, reducing power tariff in the country.
The project has three main components a barrage, a
power channel and a power complex. The power will be transmitted by
500 KV circuits to WAPDA's national grid system. The project is
environment friendly. Only 110 dwellings have been relocated. A
detailed resettlement action plan was prepared in accordance with the
World Bank guidelines and the advice from panel of environmental
WAPDA has constructed three resettlement villages
near Isa, Feroze Banda and Barotha for the affected household with all
community facilities. Land has been acquired at the market prices. An
Integrated Regional Development Plant (IRDA) was being implemented.