The Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project is likely to be completed about two years ahead of schedule now that Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) have reached the site.
Official sources in Wapda said that the TBMs were imported from Germany at a cost of around Rs8 billion and would expedite the excavation of 32- kilometre long water tunnels.
Pakistan would join the club of hi-tech countries which use the machinery for excavating tunnels. The sources said construction work was under process on the project round the clock to ensure completion of the project by June 2016.
The 969MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project is part of Wapda’s low cost generation programme, being implemented on a priority basis. The project is being constructed over Rivers Neelum and Jhelum in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The project will contribute about 5.15 billion units of electricity annually to the national grid. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs45 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.