The contract for civil works of the Tarbela Dam’s extension project is likely to be awarded in March 2013, as the pre-qualification process of the construction firms is almost complete, said Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Raghib Shah.
Shah said that pre-qualification process of the firms for electromechanical works of the project will also be completed in the shortest possible time. He expressed satisfaction over the phenomenal response of the reputed firms from all over the world for the 1,410 megawatt (MW)-Tarbela 4th Extension Project. “This overwhelming response reflects their confidence in Wapda and Government of the Pakistan for water and hydropower projects,” he added.
During his maiden visit to the project as chairman, Shah said that the Tarbela Dam had been instrumental in the economic development and social uplift of the country since its completion in the mid-1970s. Benefits of the project will significantly increase, as electricity generation capacity of Tarbela hydropower station will climb to 4,888MW from the existing 3,478MW with implementation of its 4th extension project. The World Bank is providing $480 million to finance the dam.
The Tarbela 4th Extension Project is a part of Wapda’s cheaper power generation strategy aimed at adding a sizeable quantum of electricity to the national grid to mitigate power shortages and improving the ratio of low-priced hydel electricity in the overall system to stabilise the power tariff.
On completion, the extension project will provide 3.84 billion units of electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at more than Rs30 billion. The project will pay back its cost in a short span of just three years.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2012.