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Two new hydropower projects for KP

The government on Thursday gave go-ahead to the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) to undertake two hydropower projects with total output of 1161MW in Kohistan valley on the basis of public-private-partnership with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government.

The projects are 665MW Lower Palas Valley and 496MW Lower Spat Gah hydropower projects in Kohistan. Approval to the projects was granted at the PPIB board meeting which was chaired by Federal Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar. This was the first meeting of PPIB after receiving the statutory status through an Act of the parliament.

Additionally, PPIB was allowed to undertake development of 90MW Neckeherdim-Paur and 58MW Turtonas-Uzghor hydropower projects in the Chitral region through the private sector.

The PPIB board also approved the extension of Letter of Support to 100MW Gulpur Hydropower project located at Poonch River/Gulpur in AJK and its change in shareholding structure and also the extension of Letter of Interest to 548 MW Kaigah hydropower project located near Dasu in district Kohistan to facilitate early development of these projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukhtar said that hydropower and power from coal are at top priority and the present government has been focusing on these areas for quite some time.

Some remarkable developments have been made in the hydropower sector whereby 84MW New Bong hydropower project on Jhelum River near Mangla dam is due to be commissioned by next month. Furthermore, 147MW Patrind hydropower on Kunhar river near Muzaffarabad has started construction at a fast pace, he said.

Mukhtar further said that in order to facilitate local coal and wind power projects all out efforts are being made including finalizing of upfront tariff for these projects which will be done with the proactive support of NEPRA.

PPIB Managing Director N A Zuberi briefed the board on achievements of PPIB under 1994 and 2002 power policies whereby PPIB has so far successfully implemented 28 private power projects of more than 8,500MW which is almost one third of the total installed capacity of the country. The current portfolio of projects which are at various stages of processing comprises of 21 hydro, coal, oil and gas-based power projects of more than 9,000MW out of which 16 hydropower projects totaling 7,032MW are expected to be on line starting this year up to 2020.

The meeting was attended by the Secretary Planning Commission, AJK Chief Secretary, WAPDA Chairman and senior officials of provinces, FBR, and the private sector.

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