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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.—File Photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is scheduled to inaugurate Pakistan’s first private hydel power project near Mangla Dam in Azad Kashmir on Monday.

The 84MW run-of-the river New Bong Escape Hydropower Project is expected to provide electricity to Wapda at about Rs8.7 per kwh, compared to average thermal generation cost in excess of Rs18 per unit.

The commercial production at the project is estimated to save about 135,000 tons of imported oil costing over $100 million per annum.

It will provide 540 GWh of green energy per year to the national grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement with the National Transmission and Dispatch Company.

Laraib Energy Ltd, a private company taken over by the Hub Power Company (Hubco) a couple of years ago, commissioned the plant two months ahead of its schedule of 42 months.

Interestingly, Hubco was the first to establish a 1,292MW private thermal power plant in Balochistan and the company is now planning to convert it to coal under an agreement with the government to provide cheaper energy to reduce dependence on imported oil.

One of the biggest issues of the power sector is expensive power generation, and the inauguration of private sector hydel project by Laraib has paved the way for private investment in the sector.

It is also Pakistan’s first hydropower plant to be registered with the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change as a clean mechanism development project, and has made solid contribution in offsetting greenhouse emission globally.

The Asian Development Bank and other lending agencies, multilateral IDB, IFC and Proparco France and two domestic commercial banks, NBP and HBL, played a constructive role in structuring the project and finance documents.

The successful completion of the county’s first independent hydropower project by a private investor, in record time, has given hope for harnessing the vast potential of the water sector.

As per official estimates, Pakistan has a potential to generate 100,000MW of hydel power. But only about 6,500MW of the potential has been harnessed so far.

Comments (53) Closed

Muhammad Bilal Jul 15, 2013 06:54am

The project was awarded and encouraged by the previous Government. Mian sahab likes to press buttons only.

Javed Afridi Jul 15, 2013 08:22am

Yay! Definately a step in the right direction. We could definately benefit from he business savy and entreprenerial skills of the Sharif family who are running the government. I voted for IK (who Im sure will win the next election) but I believe things happen for a reason. Good job to the Sharif team!

Khuram Pervez Jul 15, 2013 08:33am

Well done Laraib Energy Ltd. We need more to overcome our power crises.

Faizan Jul 15, 2013 09:25am

Nawaz Uncle aap ka hissa kitna hai ?

asma nazeer Jul 15, 2013 09:35am

its intrusting please add more

shaukat farooq Jul 15, 2013 10:10am

congratulations.An encouraging news.Someday we may witness inauguration of bigger hydel power projects.

Syed Jul 15, 2013 11:07am

The news article is lacking 'character' where are the details like who initiated this power project, was it Mushraff or Benazir? I expect much more from

Ossy Jul 15, 2013 11:22am

I am not a power sector expert, but Rs 8.7 per kwh for hydel power sounds way over priced. I hope once initial equity contributions are paid off through dividend repatriation, the tariff will reduce over time.

But will it?

KhanChengezKhan Jul 15, 2013 11:51am

Best ever and appreciated news!!!

nk aLI Jul 15, 2013 12:10pm

Pakistan's citizens and economy have a zero tolerance for bad planning and execution. The time is to seriously look ahead and get on with even more serious implementation. NO more bureaucratic delays and slippages, palm greasing's, cost overruns, and design flaws. In this scenario the HUBCO has taken a positive step in taking over Laraib Co and establishing a hydel project saving USD 100 million in fuel imports and converting from furnace oil to coal. Please let the coal be from indigenous mining. Salams

mohammad Jul 15, 2013 12:32pm


muhammad farooq Jul 15, 2013 12:44pm

Excellent move forward

MHF Jul 15, 2013 12:51pm

This project took around 17 years to construct, out which 10 years were just wasted by corrupt elements sitting in Ministry, WAPDA and NEPRA by raising lameness objections, reviews, useless discussions and send files here and there for no reasons. PM must lead serious investigation for such useless time wasting factors due to corrupt and incapable officers sitting at key decision making posts at high ranks. This is hidden factor causing delays in all national projects which could be completed in much lesser record time. If government is serious, its time to investigate factors causing unnecessary delays to projects.

Bilal Jul 15, 2013 12:56pm

Congrats to the nation! Way to go private sector!

Adeel Jul 15, 2013 01:06pm

Alhamdullilah !! Some thing positive

lone Jul 15, 2013 01:06pm

This is a good news that a hydel plant is being inaugurated for its operation in operation, although after a long struggle since its Letter of Interest since 1995. But now its time for the high ups to look the matter of other hydel plants which is on the same upstream river like Rajdahni Hydel Plant 132 MW & Gilpur Hydel Plant 60 MW. The Rajdahni Hydel Plant issued the Letter of Interest since 1995, the high ups should look into bottle necks regarding its financial closure, and if the Sponsor fail to comply the Letter of Support contractual obligations, the GOP should have a plan to go ahead its implementation in public sector. As PM has instructed the completion of Neelum Jhelum Hydel Plant upto 2016., the MOW&P should also check the process of transmission line for this hydel plant, to avoid any surprises at the eleventh hour.

Asad Jul 15, 2013 01:44pm

This project was started in 2009. It shows that PPP government was not as corrupt and inefficient as portrayed by Media in those days.

Rustam Jul 15, 2013 02:02pm

NS is taking credit for the scheme initiated before him.

Aqueel Kouser Jul 15, 2013 02:11pm

Pakistan on the way of recovery

iMRAN rASHEED Jul 15, 2013 02:22pm

This is great idea, i think we have lot of potential in generating electricity in this way, using our irrigation system which is already one the largest irrigation systems in the world, can put a lot in this processing. Besides i would like to suggest that if we can use cool water of Canals passing through our cities. like we have in Lahore. May b there would be possibility that we can use its coldness to cold our home or at least near by home by by-passing canal cold water through pipes and throwing air on the cold water will give u cold air. I think any of Refrigeration and Air conditioning students can understand what i am trying to say. May be this system can work just like a boiler do. in which we passes HOT water through pipes to warm home (used in UK and many of the colder countries in the world).

Yawar Jul 15, 2013 02:40pm

For once good news makes the headlines. We need 10s of such hydro projects as it is the cheapest, cleanest and most efficient source of energy.

Zain Jul 15, 2013 02:52pm

Hope this project interest other private sector to invest in energy.

Omer Jul 15, 2013 02:56pm

Just wondering..... how much time will it take for the Nawaz govt to take all the credit....

pakiboy Jul 15, 2013 03:09pm

the news should be nawaz to inaugurate power plant .. made in previous govt tenure !! .. free fund main credit inn ka kyun ??

Asad Jul 15, 2013 03:15pm

Ya Allah Thank you for your blessing and kudos to all the men and women out there doing this good work. Something in us Pakistanis is special, we just simply dont give up against odds. May we finally rise and realize that we dont need to take good action after D-Day. A good planning on time can save us the situation we keep putting ourself into. Very proud. Go Green (both the country and environment)

sohail Jul 15, 2013 03:32pm

Its a great step to highlight the importance of cheap hydel power .in my point of view instead of making.electricity from oil we should use water reserves to produce electricity which will be cheap and pollution free. Government should have to make new hydal power plant so that cheap and pollution free energy can be obtained.

MK Jul 15, 2013 03:34pm

It is definitely a good news but sorry to say it is an other way of distributing all that loan money that we received from neighboring countries. I hope it will benefit this nation.

Sardar Tayyab Haider Jul 15, 2013 03:57pm

Pakistan ma kitni develpoment ho rahe ha ana na Allaha g Nazre bad sa mahfooz rakhay ameen :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

atul Jul 15, 2013 04:02pm

I am a bit amazed that a country with 1 lakh MW of potential hydel capacity is still generating only 6500 MWs. Something desperately wrong with planning here, obviously. Even more incredible is the fact that its only in 2013 that the country's first private hydel project has been commissioned. In India, in the 2 north Indian hill states of Uttarakhand and Himchal alone, at least 20000 MW of energy is being produced by about 80 HPPs. About 5 of them very large HPPs , producing above 500 MWs of power each, 10 of them are large ( 100 - 500MW), 20 medium ( 10-100 MW) and the rest small and pico hydro establishments. Even this policy is being revised to lay more and more stress on small and pico hydro. The idea is that 1000 1 MW projects spread over an area of 1 lakh sq kms over various rivers and streams is a far easier, faster, environment friendly easier to run/maintain and cheaper option than a gigantic money and time guzzler like a 1500 MW . Not to mention the transmission costs which are saved, as also the T&D losses by having projects in remote areas.

farook Jul 15, 2013 04:33pm

We need more of them. Government should also focus on solar, wind and Thar coal. At least some good news.

Muhammad Musa Jul 15, 2013 05:01pm

Hats off to all who were involved in this project. Govt. should encourage investors for such projects by offering them real incentives. Call / invite expatriates.

Amjad Saeed yazdanie Jul 15, 2013 05:12pm

It is a good starter in a thermal power generation, but these small power plant of 84-100 MW commissioned on the run of the river bong will do a very little addition to the main requirement of energy. Pakistan needs bigger dams on main upstream of these stating from top and bringing it to the bottom so that run out water is not wasted and utilised time and time again. These bigger dams are on long term basis whereas we need to have short and medium terms planning. The bigger dams takes long lead time and lot of politics is involved in it, funding issues and engineering involved to design such dams.

M Alvi Jul 15, 2013 06:02pm

At last, there is a ray of hope. But do not get drowned in pride of performance yet - there is lot more to do to solve the problems.

Nizamuddin Ali Ahmad Jul 15, 2013 07:04pm

Can some one, please publish the actual owners of the company.

Haider Abbas Jul 15, 2013 07:29pm

No one stated that it was commissioned by the PPP govt 40 months back

Muhammad Qadeer Jul 15, 2013 11:28pm

InshaAllah, PM Nawaz will overcome the problem of loadshedding in Pakistan... Its very good work done by Govt. Of Pakistan... Jul 16, 2013 12:54pm

So the sellout of Pak has begun.

Today the energy, tomorrow the railways, then the steel mill.

Pak Inc. on the way. Corporate Capitalism - here I come.

Arvind Jul 16, 2013 06:21pm


Razi Jul 16, 2013 07:22pm

What Mr Nawaz Shariff has to do with this hydel power plant. Did he plan it or put it on fast track? What a waste of public money in his going and coming? What did we achieve by his visit? Did he add any MW by his visit? Cheap popularity will not buy him grace.

Razi Jul 16, 2013 07:26pm

@muhammad farooq: Zardari should have inaugurated it not Nawaz S

S. Israr Ali Jul 16, 2013 09:20pm

@atul: Atul you are correct. But apart from what the India is generating the point we are lacking is to match its total power requirements. Pakistan requirements are in the range of 20,000MW while its total generating capacity both thermal and hydel presently is about 13000 MW. Recently in connection with a conference I had been to India and had the privilege of visiting its two great states viz., Uttar Khund & Uttar Pardesh and personally experienced long load sheddings in very hot season after every two hours of supply in twenty four hours which I am told to be a practice.

What we derive from this narrative that there is no difference and both the countries are passing through similar conditions. Hence neither country is providing to other an ideal scenario to follow. In case of Pakistan experiencing frequent military takeovers, political turmoils and clandestine and fragile set ups, economic melt downs and corruptions, non democratic governments, terrorism and war against terrors etc., could be explained but in case of India with no such takeovers or turmoils having long established democratic set ups and norms, relatively stablised governments and set ups, apart from its inheriting better infra structure and rich resources, question comes to mind why same conditions of power scarcity are also persisting in India.

mustafa tasleem Jul 17, 2013 01:22am

A nice step of PM towards the prosperity. but kalabagh dam is only the way to defeat loadsheding.

Blitzer Jul 17, 2013 10:50am

@Haider Abbas: PPP and PML are one and the same. Let's talk about Diamer Basha Dam that, once finished, would produce close to 4,500 MW of cheap hydel power. Gen. Musharraf inaugurated it at least once. His PM Shaukat Aziz also inaugurated it once. PPP Gov't again went ahead and "inaugurated" it: once at the proposed site by Mr. Gilani and once a plaque was unveiled by the nincompoop at the President House. Zero work has been done by either the PPP or the PML to make it a success. Both the parties are interested in unveiling plaques, cutting ribbons, et al, without regard for the real problems afflicting the country.

Blitzer Jul 17, 2013 10:53am

@atul: India can be a role-model for Pakistani leadership if (and that's a big if!) they are willing to get off their lazy bottoms and actually get some work done. We need a "look east" policy for power generation and learn a thing or two from India on meeting the growing needs of a power hungry economy.

Blitzer Jul 17, 2013 10:58am

@Ossy: Nope. The tariff is going to be locked in for a period of 25 years as per the agreement with NTDC/NEPRA. At even Rs. 8.7/kWh, the electricity produced by this power plant will be less than half of what it costs to purchase electricity from Independent Power Producers (Rs. 18 or so per kWh). So it's still a pretty sweet deal. Funny thing is that the operating cost of producing electricity by the state-owned mega hydro power plants is around ~ Rs. 0.15/kWh.

Deepak Jul 17, 2013 02:11pm

@S. Israr Ali: Mr Ali, You are right in UP we do face power cuts but not more than 8 hours a day and that is because of bad state of power distribution companies financials and not because of lack of power. Currently we have financial problem with power distribution companies and is because of excessive power theft and free power which effectively means no power. Look at the BJP ruled states like MP and Gujarat where they have power surplus and 24 hours power is available in villages also. its all about finances the better you manage better you get in end. Our ministers are working seriously to solve these issue like J Scindia.

ali Jul 17, 2013 03:12pm

@Razi: You are absolutely right. it essential to have formal inauguration for similar activities....what will happen if they did not grace the occasion by wasting public money....which could have been used for the development of the locals.... come on wake up........ Look around the current price is still well above what it costs to the producer ???

ali Jul 17, 2013 04:10pm

@Razi: You are absolutely right. it essential to have formal inauguration for similar activities....what will happen if they did not grace the occasion by wasting public money....which could have been used for the development of the locals.... come on wake up........ Look around the current price is still well above what it costs to the producer

Riaz Jeelani Jul 17, 2013 04:20pm

All resources have equal and valued proposition in the prosperity of a country and are wellcome besides we must be able to tap wastage of water resource hence be able to channel it through "Kalabagh Dam" and reach a country wide consensus. To achieve that goverment shall appoint selfless team of highly qualified professionals to address worries of relavent parties.

Razi Jul 17, 2013 06:54pm

I sincerely request The Dawn to find out exactly on which date was it commissioned i.e. achieved Annual dependable capacity (ADC) test. Thanks Dawn in anticipation.

S. Israr Ali Jul 17, 2013 08:06pm

@S. Israr Ali: Anyhow if we accept 8 hours a day, it too is not a mean duration either particularly in very hot seasons of northern sub-continent. I have spoken not only of UP but also of conditions in another great state Uttar Khund. The population of UP alone is around 220 million people as against Pakistan's total population of 200 million people. Point is a very large segment of people is suffering there too where political conditions as against Pakistan remained relatively stable and calm. Even today Pakistan is victim of terrorism and fighting a bleeding war for about twelve years as partner with world's strongest and formidable forces of NATO who are directly in combat by stationing in Afghnistan etc.This is besides the fact that strong democratic norms have yet to take strong roots here which is not the case with India as there never had been a military take over.

Arshad Jul 17, 2013 10:19pm

@Blitzer: What do you mean PML has done zero work on this project, didn't they just come into power after nothing done by Musharraf and PPP?

Siddiqui Jul 17, 2013 10:38pm

Pakistan should immediately start construction of Munda dam in KPK, which will thwart the impending flood risk which occurs every year. Also other hydel projects like Bunji dam, Diamer Bhasha dam and Neelum Jhelum project should be implemented on a fast track basis. Already we are years behind in the above mentioned projects.