The energy crisis, which is seriously affecting the industry and causing serious problems for the people in the form of power outages across the country, can be resolved in the next five to six years keeping in view potential for generating hydropower, especially at River Indus, National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC) officials informed the media during a study tour to dams, grid stations, Indus River basin and power transmission units.
Currently, Pakistan’s total power demand is around 20,000MW and national grid faces shortfall of 6,000-7,000 MW. Media personnel were then told there is over 37,000MW power generation potential on River Indus and its tributaries.
Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is planning 26 projects on River Indus and related tributaries to incorporate their collective 37,312 MW potential into national grid. Of these 26 hydropower projects, feasibility studies of 12, which are in first priority consisting of 31,879 MW, are about to be completed and construction work might start soon.
NTDC engineers are hopeful that power crises will be nullified in the coming five to six years, if Wapda executes these projects in time. These include Bunji Dam 7,100 MW, Bhasha Dam 4,500 MW, Dasu Dam 4,320 MW, Pattan Dam 2,800 MW, Thakot Dam 2,800 MW, Neelum Jhelum Dam 969 MW (where work is in advanced stage), Azad Pattan Dam 650 MW, Suki Kinari Dam 840 MW, Kohala Dam 1,100 MW, Yulbo Dam 3000 MW, Tungas Dam 2,200 MW & Skardu Dam 1600 MW.
Project Director Zaffar Iqbal Niazi said that although major dams required at least five to six years to be completed, hydro-generated electricity would be added to national grid through small dams and three powerhouses. He said that cost per unit will be around Rs1.25 after construction of some dams. These three powerhouses generate electricity through waterfall tributaries of Indus.
To make feasible import of 1,000 MW of electricity from Iran, installation of a transmission line route is in its last stages. A feasibility report is being prepared for transmission of 2,400MW to be generated through Sindh Thar coal deposits. Its PC-I would be forwarded to the government this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.