The Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project is yet another landmark being constructed by Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) under its least-cost energy generation plan, said Wapda Chairman Muzammil Hussain.
Speaking during his visit to the project site at Tarbela Dam on Tuesday, he said that the scheme would meet increasing demand for energy through clean and green hydel electricity.
The purpose of the visit was to review preparedness for mobilisation of the contractor to the site and start of construction work on the project, which is scheduled to commence in July 2021.
The Tarbela 5th Extension is one of the 10 mega projects being implemented by Wapda to double the existing hydel generation and add over 9,000 megawatts to the national grid from 2022 to 2028 in a phased manner.
The addition of cheap electricity would help stabilise power tariff by reducing the country’s reliance on the import of expensive fuel for thermal power generation, he added. Underlining the importance of timely completion of hydropower projects for the national economy, the Wapda chairman directed the Tarbela 5th Extension management to strictly adhere to the timelines set for completion of the scheme.
He stressed that no compromise would be tolerated on the stipulated standards of construction work.
During the visit, the Wapda chairman took a comprehensive round of tunnel number five, sites of the power house, switch yard and intake of the power house.
He was briefed about the mobilisation of the contractor and timelines for overall implementation of the project.
Hussain’s visit came following the award of contract for civil works of the 1,530MW Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project last week.
It is pertinent to mention that the Tarbela 5th Extension Project is being constructed on tunnel number five of Tarbela Dam with approved PC-I of $807 million.
The World Bank is providing $390 million while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide financing to the tune of $300 million. Continuous monetary assistance by the international financial institutions for Wapda for the construction of hydropower projects reflected their trust in the company’s financial strength, said a statement released by Wapda.
“The cumulative generation capacity of Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project stands at 1,530MW with three generating units of 510MW each,” it said.
“The project, scheduled to commence electricity generation by mid-2024, will provide, on average, 1.347 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity per annum to the national grid.”
The installed power generation capacity of Tarbela Dam would increase from 4,888MW to 6,418MW on the completion of Tarbela 5th Extension Project, it said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2021.