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WAPDA to implement low-cost energy plan on priority

Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) is implementing a least-cost energy generation plan on priority to help reduce electricity shortfall and increase the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid.

Under the plan, 17 large projects are under construction / at detailed engineering stage, which will generate more than 20,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity and store about 12 million acre feet (MAF) of water.

WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani expressed these views while presiding over a progress review meeting here at WAPDA House on Thursday. WAPDA Members and General Managers concerned also attended the meeting.

While emphasizing the importance of hydropower to meet the electricity needs in the country, the Chairman urged the project managers to complete these projects within stipulated time.

It is pertinent to mention that the hydropower is the cheapest electricity generated through indigenous resource of water. The average tariff for hydel electricity is Rs.1.54 per unit as compared to the overall electricity tariff of about Rs.9 per unit.

Earlier, the meeting was told that seven projects with cumulative capacity of more than 1500 MW are under construction. Out of these, five projects of about 400 MW will be completed in the current year, while the 969 MW-Neelum-Jhelum and the 106 MW-Golen Gol hydropower projects are progressing at a good pace. In addition, the 4500 MW Diamer Basha Dam with gross storage capacity of 8.1 MAF and the 84 MW-Kurram Tangi

Dam with water storage capacity of 1.2 MAF have also been initiated. Besides, the 1410 MW-Tarbela 4th Extension and the 7100 MW-Bunji Hydropower Project will soon be available for initiating construction work, as detailed engineering designs of the two projects are almost complete.

It was further told that six mega projects are currently in the stage of their detailed engineering designs, including the 740 MW-Munda Dam multipurpose project with storage capapacity 1.3 MAF, the 4320 MW-Dasu with storage capacity of 1.1 MAF, the 122 MW-Keyal Khwar and three other projects of 1761 MW.

The meeting expressed satisfaction that the Greater Thal Canal, Khan Khwar hydropower and Mangla Dam Raising projects have been completed during the last couple of years, while Satpara Dam, Gomal Zam Dam and Jinnah Hydropower Project will be fully completed this year.

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