LAHORE: The strategically important Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project, located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, is all set to start electricity generation after water filling in the head race tunnel commenced on Tuesday.
The head race tunnel is a component of the 52-kilometer long water way system of the project that has been constructed underground across high mountain areas to divert water from the reservoir to the power house of the project. Subsequent to filling of the head race tunnel, wet commissioning of the first generating unit will be carried out, meaning electricity generation will start from the project by the end of the current month.
Addressing the ceremony, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairperson Muzammil Hussain lauded the completion of core components of the project including construction of dam, de-sander, water way system including head and tail race tunnels, underground power house, transformers hall, switchyard and transmission line to evacuate electricity generated by the project.
Besides installing electro-mechanical equipment, most of their tests have also been successfully conducted. The first unit will start electricity generation by end-March, followed by the second, third and fourth units at one month intervals respectively, he said.
Hussain expressed satisfaction at Wapda completing its third project of the year, after Golen Gol Hydropower Project in January and Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project in February.
The Neelum-Jhelum project will provide about 5 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs50 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2018.