LAHORE: Following the signing of an agreement with the government of Pakistan for providing $840 million for the 1,410-megawatt Tarbela 4th Extension Project, the World Bank has also agreed to extend financial assistance to the 4,320MW Dasu Hydropower Project.
It has also been agreed that the project will be constructed in phases after work on the 4,500MW Diamer-Bhasha Dam is initiated and its financial plan is finalised.
Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Shakil Durrani stated this while presiding over a meeting here at the Wapda House to discuss the report submitted by an international panel of experts.
Addressing the meeting, the Wapda chairman said international financial institutions were taking keen interest in providing funds for Wapda projects due to excellent ‘economic internal rate of return’ (EIRR) of these schemes.
The Dasu project is part of the least-cost energy production plan of Wapda aimed at harnessing the country’s hydropower resources to improve the share of hydroelectricity in energy mix.
The project will be constructed on the Indus River, seven km upstream of Dasu village and 74 km downstream of Diamer-Bhasha Dam. The project is situated on the Karakoram Highway, about 350 km from Islamabad.
According to a statement issued by Wapda, the priority is to construct Diamer-Bhasha Dam for which land acquisition process has already started and 13 contracts for offices, colonies and roads have been awarded.
Dasu Hydropower Project will follow the initiation of work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam. Detailed engineering design, for which the World Bank is providing funds, and tender documents are likely to be completed in early 2013. Afterwards, construction work will commence.
The project will generate 21.3 billion units of electricity per annum and will also have positive impact on existing hydropower stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha and Chashma.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2012.