CHITRAL: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has allocated Rs8.6 billion for construction of six medium sized hydropower projects in Chitral, having 527 megawatt generation capacity. Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) will start work on the sites under the annual development plan 2014-15, according to a document available with Dawn.
The power projects include Shushghal-Jindoli (144MW), Shoghor-Seen (132MW), Arkari Gol (79MW), Lawi Drosh (69MW), Istaru-Booni (52MW), and Muzhigram (51MW). Feasibility study of the sites has already been carried out.
The first two projects are being launched on public-private partnership due to paucity of funds.
As per the document, the Shushghal-Jindoli, Shoghor-Seen and Lawi-Drosh projects have been allocated Rs2.8, Rs2.6 and Rs2.6 billion, respectively.
The power projects will be fed by the Chitral River through tunnels whose lengths ranged from 4.5 to 9.3 kilometers, while they would be completed in five to eight years.
A source in PEDO told Dawn that a Chinese construction company had already entered into an agreement with the government for building Shoghor-Seen hydropower project.
The source said that the hydropower generation potential could only be exploited by attracting foreign investment as the government lacked the required financial resources in that regard.
Meanwhile, PEDO recently awarded a contract to Aga Khan Rural Support Programme to build 55 small and mini hydropower stations in Chitral. The projects will have a combined capacity of generating 6MW of power and will be completed within 18 months. These hydropower units have been planned in the distant and remote villages of the district where power supply through the national grid is not possible.
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2014