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Tarbela extension’s contract likely in March

The civil work contract for the 1,410 MW Tarbela fourth extension project is likely to be awarded in March 2013 as the pre-qualification process of the construction firms has almost been completed, said Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) in a statement issued on Friday.

During his visit to the project, he said that the Tarbela dam has been instrumental in the country’s economic development and social uplift since its completion in mid 1970s. Benefits of the project will significantly increase, as electricity generation capacity of the Tarbela hydel power station will rise to 4,888 MW from the existing 3,478 MW with the implementation of its fourth extension, for which the World Bank is providing $840 million, he added.

Commenting on the pace of work, the chairman said that the firms’ pre-qualification process for the electro-mechanical work of the project will also be completed in the shortest possible time. He expressed satisfaction over the phenomenal response of the reputed firms from all over the world for the Tarbela fourth extension project.

“This overwhelming response reflects their confidence in Wapda and Pakistan’s government for water and hydropower projects,” he said.

The project is part of least-cost power generation strategy of Wapda aimed at mitigating power shortages and improving the ratio of low-priced hydel electricity in the overall system to stabilise the power tariff.

On completion, the project will provide about 3.84 billion units of electricity to the national grid every year. The annual benefits of the project have been estimated at more than Rs30 billion and the project will pay back its cost in three years.

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