The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has provided updates on development of a number of major hydropower projects in the country.

In a statement, it said that the 1410MW Tarbela 4th extension project is to be completed from Febraury 2018 to May 2018 in a phased manner, while construction is expected to start imminently on the 4320MW Dasu project, as the contractor for civil works has been mobilized to the project site. It also announced that the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum project should start full generation in March next year.

WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain said that the authority is confident that the Tarbela 4th Extension will be complete in May 2018, but that steady efforts on part of the project management including the consultants and the contractors are needed to meet the timelines.

During a visit to the Dasu project site in early July, Chairman Muzammil Hussain said that commencement of project construction is going to be a good omen for development of hydropower potential in the country, as this project is being constructed by leveraging WAPDA’s financial strength. Out of US$ 4.2 billion required for completion of Stage-I of Dasu Hydropower Project, the World Bank (IDA) is providing a credit of US$ 824 million, while the rest of the amount is being arranged by WAPDA from various commercial sources and reploughing its own revenue surplus.

The 4320MW Dasu project is being constructed on the River Indus upstream of Dasu Town in Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The project will be completed in two stages – each stage having a generation capacity of 2160MW. Stage-I of Dasu Hydropower Project will be completed in almost five years and contribute more than 12 billion units per annum to the National Grid. Stage-II, after its completion, will also provide another 9 billion units to the system every year.

Earlier this week, the Chairman also told the Public Accounts Committee that Neelum-Jhelum will start full generation by March 2018. He said filling of the dam will start in October, dry testing of the turbine will be conducted in January while the first unit will start generation in February.      

Excavation of 68km of tunnels at the project have already been completed one month ahead of schedule .