Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) could become self-sufficient and meet its total demand of 400 megawatts (MW) of electricity through the execution of hydropower generation projects, several locations for which have been identified in different parts of the state.
At the same time, the authorities have asserted that hydropower to the tune of a total of 8,134.82MW could be produced in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Construction work has been launched on 13 of 54 hydel projects in the private and public sectors in various parts of AJK.
There are already eight hydropower facilities, including the country’s second-largest dam, Mangla, already functioning in AJK.
The state’s Hydro Power Board Managing Director Mushtaq Gorsi told The Express Tribune on Saturday that Wapda launched the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum power project in Muzaffarabad, the Hydro Electric Board launched 10 power projects with a total capacity of 17.72MW, and two projects producing a total of 231MW launched by the Private Power Cell (PPC) and the Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) have been inititated to help address local and national supply shortfalls.
Elaborating on the status of other identified hydropower projects, the upcoming projects in the public sector include four projects totaling 137.4MW. “The feasibility studies of six projects totaling 140 MW have also been completed”, he added.
The AJK Hydro Power Board head further disclosed that 27 projects with a total capacity of 3,218.4MW are being reviewed in the private sector. He revealed that the authorities have also identified three raw sites with an estimated capacity of 2,370 MW at different locations in AJK. “Besides this, three self-generating projects with a capacity of 10.5 MW are also in progress”, he noted.
Gorsi pointed out that a total of eight of hydropower projects with a total capacity of 1,040.8MW are presently functioning in the public sector. These projects included the 1,000 MW Mangla Dam, launched by WAPDA, and seven projects producing 40.8MW launched by the Hydro Electric Board.
The entire state of AJK needed a total of 400MW to meet the requirement of power consumers.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2013.