MEETING POWER SHORTAGE THROUGH SMALL HYDROPOWER PROJECTS

ENGR. HUSSAIN AHMAD SIDDIQUI
Dec 03 - 09, 2007

Conventionally, there is a distinction between small and medium/large hydropower plants. Application of hydropower on a commercial scale serving a small community or small/medium industry is termed as small-size hydropower that essentially requires availability of a sizeable flow of water and a reasonable water head. Though there is no internationally recognized definition, small hydropower units are generally categorized as Micro (less than 100 kW capacity), Mini (100 kW to one MW) and Small (above 1 MW and up to 5 MW). Small hydropower stations with installation of multiple turbo-generating units are stretched to a maximum total capacity of up to 30 MW in the USA and Canada, and up to 50 MW in the People's Republic of China. Pakistan Power Policy 2002 categorizes projects up to 50 MW as Small Hydropower, and their development is within the purview of the provincial and AJK governments.

At present a number of small-size hydel power plants are operating in the country, predominantly in the public sector, with a total installed capacity of approx. 242 MW. For last many decades Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is operating eight small hydel power plants having over 107 MW total installed capacity. These power stations are located at Dargai , Jabban (closed down now due to fire accident)and Karram Garhi in the NWFP, and at Rasul, Chichoki Mallian, Shadiwal, Nandipur and Renala in the Punjab.

Likewise, about one hundred mini- and micro- power stations, with a total installed capacity of over 93 MW, are in operation in far-flung localities of the Northern Areas, mainly to provide electricity for lighting purposes, developed and operated by the Northern Areas Public Works Department (NAPWD). Similarly, Sarhad Hydel Development Organization (SHYDO) has developed 11 mini- and micro- hydropower stations in the NWFP with a total capacity of over 5 MW, a few of which have recently been leased out to the private sector. In the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, there exist seven hydel power stations, in the range of 0.1 MW to 30.4 MW capacity, which are developed by the AJK Hydro Electric Board (AJKHEB).

Details of small-size hydropower stations at present in operation in the country are given in Table I.

TABLE I

SMALL HYDROPOWER STATIONS IN OPERATION

ORGANISATION (PUBLIC SECTOR)

TOTAL INSTALLED CAPACITY (MW)

LOCATION

STATION INSTALLED CAPACITY (MW)

1. WAPDA

107.2

Dargai, NWFP

20

Jabban, NWFP

19.6

Rasul,Punjab

22

Nandipur, Punjab

13.8

ChichokiMalian, Punjab

13.2

Shadiwal,Punjab

13.5

Renala,Punjab

1.1

2. SHYDO

5.2

Reshun (Chitral)

2.8

Shishi & Garam- Chashma (Chitral)

0.4

Kalam & Ashuran(Swat)

0.6

Duber, Keyal & Jalkot (Kohistan)

0.5

Kaghan, Dir and Shangla

0.9

3. NAPWD

93.73

Gilgit

10.63

Skardu

6.96

Chilas

5.62

Hunza

5.13

Shyok

4.85

Kargah, Gilgit

4

Astore

3.11

Kachura, Skardu

3

Ghizar

2

Thak, Chilas

2

Phander, Ghizar

2

Mini- and micro-power stations at various other locations

44.43

4. AJKHEB

36.1

Jagran

30.4

Kundal shahi

2

Kathai

1.6

Leepa

1.6

Keel Chinari and Pattika

0.5

According to Pakistan Hydel Power Potential report published by the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB), Ministry of Water and Power, there exists a total hydropower potential of 41,722 MW additional power generation. Out of this, as many as 570 schemes and sites, with a potential of cumulative capacity of above 2,165 MW capacity, have already been identified for establishing small-size hydropower stations.

These schemes of capacity varying widely from 0.014 MW (14 kW) to 40 MW, include solicited projects for which the technical and economic feasibility studies have been finalized, and also the raw sites that are technically feasible but for which the economic feasibility reports are to be prepared by the developers. These schemes are summarized at Table II.

TABLE II

IDENTIFIED SITES FOR HYDROPOWER PROJECTS

PROVINCE/AREA

ECONOMICALLY EXPLOITABLE AND FEASIBLE (SOLICITED SCHEMES)

TECHNICALLY EXPLOITABLE CAPABILITY (RAW SITES)

TOTAL PROJECTS

 

NUMBERS

MW

NUMBERS

MW

NUMBERS

MW

Punjab

8

32.17

306

349.65

314

381.82

Sindh

2

49.50

3

48.55

5

98.05

NWFP

7

143.90

78

426.41

85

570.31

Northern Areas

3

71.50

136

814.00

139

885.50

AJK

3

53.00

24

177.00

27

230.00

Grand Total

23

350.07

547

1,815.61

570

2,165.68

It is observed from Table II that the established potential for developing power generation through additional small hydel power plants is to the level of over 2,000 MW and if harnessed, can contribute effectively to the future power needs. The Northern Areas are the richest in hydropower as reflected in the above table, followed by the NWFP. Total hydropower generation only in Chitral region is technically proven to be over 1,368 MW, out of which small size power projects account for 225 MW cumulative capacity. Studies are being conducted on various other sites too in the country meanwhile, and the experts estimate that further potential exists to generate additionally 3,000 to 4,000 MW through establishing small hydropower plants.

Efforts are therefore underway by various concerned agencies to exploit this potential optimally. There are many mini- and micro- hydropower projects under construction at present in the Northern Areas. In addition, small hydropower projects are under construction in the Northern Areas, which include 12- MW hydropower station in Skardu, 18-MW power station in Jaglot and 3-MW station in District Astore. Also, work is in progress on a 28-MW power plant in Basho at a cost of Rs 2,300 million. A few other schemes have been approved for implementation by the NAPWD. Major project of these schemes is a 28-32 MW Maltrur hydropower for which feasibility study is being finalized with the co-operation of the Chinese. Also, Naltar III hydropower project of 18 MW capacity has been approved for installation in the Northern Areas.

The provincial governments too have plans to develop many small hydropower schemes. The Government of the NWFP has recently undertaken construction of the 18-MW capacity Pehur hydropower project on turnkey basis. A project of 4.5 MW capacity is to be set up in Azad Jammu and Kashmir at Battar, District Bagh. Another hydropower station of 8 MW capacity is to be installed at Jabori, Mansehra. Likewise, Punjab government has recently approved 40 schemes of small power units on various canals and barrages that would be capable to generate a cumulative total of 65 MW electricity. Feasibility studies of the major projects have been conducted.

These are proposed at Bambanwala, Daska and Degfall, Sheikhupura, both on the Upper Chenab Canal, capacity 6.29 MW each, Pakpattan, 3.30 MW, on Pakpattan Canal Upper, two projects at Sahiwal, 4.56 MW and 2.43 MW, on Lower Bari Doab, two projects at Sheikhupura, capacity 3.5 MW each, on Upper Chenab Canal, and Gujrat, 2.34 MW, on Upper Gugera Canal. Out of these, the provincial government would implement two projects, including Pakpattan hydropower, for which tender documents are ready. The remaining 38 projects however would be offered to the private sector for which Expression of Interest are expected to be invited shortly.

Realistically, the private sector plays vitally important role in any investment area. The involvement of private sector is essentially required to develop small hydropower projects, for a number of reasons. SHYDO has taken a bold initiative to bring in private investment in a big way, and, besides handing over various mini- and micro- power stations in operation to private sector, a number of potential sites are also being leased out. For example, out of 19 identified sites on canal falls of Machai Canal (Mardan), each of approx. one MW capacity, four have already been leased out, whereas another 10 sites are to be offered to private investors shortly, and rest are to be developed by SHYDO itself. Feasibility studies for developing these sites are presently under preparation. Similarly, 18 sites are being offered at Abazai Canal, in the range of 30 kW to 450 kW, for lease.

Power policies of the governments of the NWFP and AJK have adopted simple procedures, fiscal and financial concessions and attractive tariffs, aiming at inviting private sector investment basically for captive power for industry. The projects in the NWFP will be leased out for an initial period of 33 years, on a baseline reserve price of Rs 550 per kW per annum of 70% of the indicated power potential. It is also reported that the provincial government may revise its power policy to make it more investor-friendly. There are four major projects in the NWFP for which feasibility studies have been completed and are identified for offering to the private sector as solicited proposals.

These include Daral Khwar, Swat of 35 MW, Batal Khwar, Swat of 8 MW, Summargah, Kohistan of 28 MW and Ronalia, Kohistan of 11 MW capacity. A private investor has installed a one-megawatt unit, at Jarikas, Mirpur, to meet power requirements of his industry. AJK Government has also issued Letter of Support (LOS) to two projects, namely Riali I of 1.60 MW and Madar Butdara of 10.20 MW capacity, and Letter of Interest (LOI) for another, Riali II, 4.9 MW capacity project, to private investors.

There are plans in advanced stage to increase the installed capacity for power generation in Pakistan, primarily multi-purpose hydel projects, to cover the growth in future demands. Implementation of various medium and large hydropower projects, including Basha and Kalabagh multi-purpose schemes, however involve long construction periods and high capital costs. Meanwhile, small capacity hydropower plants, which are cost-effective and require short construction time, will serve to meet electricity needs significantly.

(Engr Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui is a Member, Board of Directors, Private Power & Infrastructure Board (PPIB) of the Ministry of Water and Power).