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WAPDA raises Rs 9.3 billion for Neelum-Jhelum Project from banks

In a significant development towards arrangement of financial resources to expedite the construction work on the 969 megawatts (MW) Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHPP), the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has raised Rs 9.3 billion by issuing Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) in collaboration with the lead banks of Pakistan.

This organisational resource mobilisation will also serve as a precedent for arrangement of funds for future hydropower projects in the country.

This achievement was made possible within five days following Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali’s visit to the site of NJHPP.

Minister had promised to resolve issues pertaining to the project including the much-needed financial resources on war-footing basis. The arrangement of the amount is manifestation of his resolve. He personally pursued the matter with the ministries of Water and Power and Finance for finalisation of the process of TFCs issuance.

The amount to be paid to the contractor of NJHPP will enable WAPDA to expedite the work on the project.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Project two months ago had directed WAPDA to make sure the project starts generating electricity by the end of 2015.

In line with the directions of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Water and Power and WAPDA are making earnest efforts to ensure completion of the project before time. It is in this context that Rs 9.3 billion arranged through TFCs will go a long way in expediting the construction on the project.

Neelum-Jhelum is a strategically important project. The project is completed by 51 percent. Out of total 67-kilometer (km) tunnels, about 40 km long tunnels (59%) have so been excavated with the help of two state of the art TBM machines, while excavation of underground power house station stands at 90.6 percent and transformers hall at 100 percent.

On completion, NJHPP will contribute 5.15 billion units of electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits to accrue from the project have been estimated at about Rs 45 billion.

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