Pakistan has a tremendous hydel potential of more
than 40,000 Megawatt (MW). However, only 15 percent of the hydroelectric
potential has been harnessed so far. The remaining, untapped potential,
if properly exploited, can effectively meet Pakistan's ever-increasing
demand for electricity at cost-effective manner.
The current status for hydel power generation of the
country indicates that in all the total installed capacity stands at
6595MW mainly contributed by NWFP 3767.2MW, Punjab 1698MW, Azad Jammu
Kashmir 1036.1MW and Northern areas 94MW.
It is unfortunate that despite having potential, the
province of Sindh and Balochistan contribute nil towards hydel power
generation. This indicates lack of interest on the part of the two
provinces towards hydel power generation.
Being a water-rich country, Pakistan has ample scope
to increase hydel power generation but investment in hydel power
generation has been caught up in confusion and paradoxes for more than a
decade, and no significant progress has been achieved so far.
To exploit available hydel resource productively,
huge investments are necessary, which our economy cannot afford,
naturally this calls for foreign investment by offering attractive
The power policy 2002 offers attractive package to
the overseas investors and it facilitates tapping the domestic capital
market to raise local financing for power projects.
The main package are international competitive terms,
attractive framework for domestic investors, simplification of
procedures and steps to create and encourage a domestic corporate debt
Electric power is a stimulator for the socioeconomic
uplift. However, only half of the country's population has access to
electricity which, other words indicates the available market for the
investors in power generating sector especially hydel power.
In this backdrop, the government of NWFP has
established a corporate body known as the Sarhad Hydel Development
Organization (SHYDO) for carrying out hydropower prospects and
development to act as a utility company for isolated rural population.
With the assistance of WAPDA and other organization SHYDO has prepared a
Master Plan for the development of hydro-power potential in NWFP.
Accordingly, the Regional Power Development Plan was
completed with pertinent technical and financial data of different hydel
sites in NWFP. About 150 potential sites with a total capacity of
18698MW were identified on the basis of high, medium and small head. Out
of these, 17 projects are in operation, 6 sites are under implementation
in the public sector and one site has been offered to the private
sector. Mainly, these are run-of-river sites, with some as daily storage
In Punjab, the Punjab Power Development Board was
created in the irrigation Department in 1995, for the promotion of hydel
power generation on canals, about 324 sites of medium and low head, with
a total estimated capacity of 5895MW were identified.
Recently, WAPDA has put the first phase of Ghazi
Barotha Hydel projects having a capacity to produce 1450MW as a
In order to exploit the plentiful hydel resources of
Azad Kashmir, the government of AJK has also established AJK Hydro
Electric Board (HEB). The AJK HEB successfully completed the 1.6MW
Kathal, 2MW Kundel Shahi, 2MW Leepa, and 30.4MW Lagran hydel power
projects. Subsequently with the intention of providing a one-window
facility and to encourage development of hydro potential in the private
sector, the governor Azad Kashmir created the AJK Private Power Cell in
1995. A number of hydel projects with the total capacity of 829 MW are
being processed in the private sector.
Numerous promising potential for hydel sites have
been identified in the Northern Areas but, due to the absence of high
power transmission lines, these sites have not been developed so far. On
account of difficult mountainous terrain and the absence of high
transmission line system, the Northern Areas are not connected to the
National Grid and no project have been undertaken which is responsible
for the generation and distribution of electrical power. However,
Northern Areas Public Works Department (NAPWD) was established, which is
responsible for the generation and distribution of electrical power.
NAPWD has constructed various mini hydel power stations in the region
and has built 11 KV lines for the transmission of power to consumers. An
18MW Naltar-III Hydro power project is under implementation in public
sector. Currently, approximately 40 percent of the local population of
Northern Areas has been provided with electrical power.
The Irrigation and Power Department in Sindh is
responsible for conducting hydro power activities in the province, and
for facilitating and liaison with the concerned agencies. Six potential
sites of an estimated capacity of 178MW have been identified with medium
and low head at different canals. The hydro power projects identified in
Sindh are Nai Gaj Fall, Sukkur, Rohri Canal and Guddu Barrage Projects.
These projects have an estimated 178MW capacity. Feasibility reports of
these projects have also been completed, however, there is no sign of
implementation on these projects.