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Wapda can produce 20,000MW electricity

Water and Power Development Authority’s (Wapda) top functionaries here on Friday told the Senate Committee on Water and Power that Wapda can produce hydro generation of 20,000 megawatts (MW) in the next eight years, provided the required funds are ensured.

Zahid Khan, chairman of the senate committee, said that it is not possible to rectify Wapda’s complex matters as it is facing more problems with fewer resources. The committee came down heavily on the absence of Minister of Water and Power Chaudhry Mukhtar Ahmad and decided to write down a letter to chairman Senate to this effect. The committee also recommended taking actions against those officials of electric power distribution companies, where unscheduled load shedding is still underway.

In the meeting, CEO of Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Company Lt (retired) General Zubair Ahmad said the Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project had got delayed by two years in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake that hit the country in 2005. It will now be completed in 2016 with the capacity to generate electricity of 969 MW, he said.

Ahmad said that a 24 kilometers tunnel has been excavated and about 38 percent work on the whole project has been completed. “The project will be completed with the revised cost of Rs 274 billion. The cost of the project has increased by Rs 90 billion out of which Rs 45 billion will be arranged by the federal government and the rest will be arranged from donors,” he said.

Wapda chairman Shakeel Ahmad Durrani said that China’s EXIM bank will soon release the loan of $448 million. However, he said that there are some hurdles in getting $100 million from Abu Dhabi Fund.

He also said the country will start getting electricity of 17 MW in 2013 from Kurram Tungi dam. The dam will help irrigate 16,000 acres land in North Waziristan, he added.

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