Tarbela extension project heralds the beginning of a new era of socio economic development in the country, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as he performed the ground breaking ceremony of Tarbela-IV extension Hydropower project at Tarbela on Wednesday.
The project shows the resolve of the government to provide relief to the general public and boost economic development by adding low-cost electricity into the national grid, said Nawaz.
The premier said that people had to face the worst energy outages due to the sustained policy of neglect of previous governments. He added that successive governments did not address power generation in view of escalating needs of economy and population growth.
Nawaz added that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz led government should be credited for formulating the first ever holistic National Power Policy.
He added that the government knows that efficient and consumer-centric low-cost power generation is necessary to put the country on the trajectory of socio-economic development.
The Prime Minister highlighted projects being undertaken by the ministry of water and power which aims to provide substantial relief from load shedding with a view to reduce dependency on costly thermal power.
Talking about increasing the power generation, Nawaz said that he has already directed the Ministry of Water and Power and other concerned organisations to accelerate work on Diamer-Basha Dam, Dasu Dam and Bunji Dam projects.
Earlier wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Ali Shah gave a detailed briefing on the project including plans for increasing the existing capacity of Tarbela Hydel Power Station from 3,478 MW to 4,888 MW in the 4th Extension. The project, thus, aims to add 1,410 MW of cheap hydel electricity into the national grid in a period of three and a half years.
The wapda chairman appreciated the World Bank for financial assistance of $840 million for construction of the project.
The Tarbela 4th Extension Project, once complete, aims to add about 4 billion units of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to the national power grid. Annual monetary benefit of the project has been estimated to be Rs30 billion and it would pay back the cost incurred on its construction in a span of three years.
The Premier warned that the delays, over costing and escalations would not be tolerated in the project.
Tarbela- V Extension Project
The Prime Minister was informed that as per initial study, Tarbela- V Extension Project would generate 1,320 MW electricity and Austrian Government has shown its keen interest to finance the project.
He directed the Ministry of Water & Power to take up feasibility of Tarbela- V Extension Project. The ministry was also directed to start the Tarbela IV & V projects simultaneously.
Tourist spot at Tarbela
Secretary Interprovincial Coordination Ijaz Chaudhry also gave a briefing to Prime Minister on development of Tourist site in Tarbela.
The PM was informed that 3 sites have been identified for development of water sports, theme park, restaurant and Water jetty.