LAHORE: Consultants hired by the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) have suggested constructing a new underground hydropower station of 375 megawatts at Warsak in place of existing power house of 243MW.
However, by the time the new power station starts production, the existing power house will continue to operate, where only the most-required rehabilitation work will be done, says Wapda. The consultants, comprising a Canadian and a Pakistani firm, have been tasked to take a review of the dam, spillway and detailed engineering design of the new power station by the end of the year, which will be followed by initiation of construction work.
The need for the new power house arises as the existing one has completed about 50 years of operation and condition of its generating units have deteriorated despite extensive repair and maintenance work due to heavy sediment in water.
The power station is located on Kabul river, 30 kilometres from Peshawar. The project was completed in two phases. In the first phase, four units having cumulative capacity of 160MW were installed in 1960, while in the second phase, two more units of 83MW were added in 1981, raising the capacity to 243MW.
According to Wapda, the new 375MW project is part of a two-pronged strategy aimed at optimum utilisation of water resources to produce more low-cost electricity. Under the strategy, Wapda is constructing new hydropower projects and also rehabilitating and upgrading old power stations.
At present, Jabban and Tarbela power stations are being upgraded while feasibility study for rehabilitating and upgrading Mangla power station has been completed. The study recommends that generation capacity of Mangla can be increased to 1,310MW from existing 1,000MW.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2012.
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