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China to provide $448m loan for Neelum-Jhelum project

Finally the EXIM Bank of China has signed an agreement with the government of Pakistan to provide $448 million for the strategically important 969MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project.

This agreement is a significant development in the efforts to secure requisite financial resources for the remaining works of under-construction Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, says the Wapda press release.

Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project is being constructed on River Neelum in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. In addition to generating much-needed low-cost hydel electricity to help mitigate power shortages in the country, the project is also equally important for Pakistan to establish priority water rights. In view of its significance, Wapda is making all possible efforts to complete Neelum-Jhelum Project by 2016 according to its construction schedule.

At present, the construction work on all sites of the project is progressing satisfactorily. Out of total 67km tunnels, 34.24km long tunnels (51%) have so far been excavated, while excavation of under-ground powerhouse stands at 75.24% and transformers hall at 96.33%. De-sander of the project is 95% complete and Nauseri Bridge over River Neelum is 100% complete. Second stage diversion of the River Neelum has also been completed.The Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, on completion, will contribute 5.15 billion units of cheap electricity every year to the national grid.

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