LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) achieved another landmark for energy security as the Tarbela 4th extension project started electricity generation on Monday.
The first generating unit has started providing electricity to the national grid. Wapda Chairman Muzammil Hussain visited the site to mark the development.
Highlighting significance of the project in economic and social development of the country, Hussain announced that the prime minister would formally inaugurate the Tarbela 4th extension project in the second week of March.
Under the 1,410-megawatt project, three electric power generating units – each of 470MW – have been installed at tunnel 4 of Tarbela Dam.
The first unit has started electricity generation whereas the second unit is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of April. The third unit will start electricity generation by the end of May.
Hussain emphasised that Wapda was determined to add 2,487MW of low-cost hydroelectric power to the national grid by June 2018 with phased completion of its three projects, which included 108MW Golen Gol project, 969MW Neelum-Jhelum project and Tarbela 4th extension.
With completion of the extension project, the generation capacity of the existing Tarbela Hydel Power Station would increase to 4,888MW from the existing 3,478MW. The Tarbela 4th extension project will provide 3.84 billion units of electricity to the national grid per annum.
Hussain put annual benefits of the project at an estimated Rs30 billion, saying the project would pay back its cost in just three years.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2018.