PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to award the contract for the execution of three hydropower projects of 564 megawatts capacity in Chitral district to the military-run Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).

The decision was made during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak earlier this month, officials in the know told Dawn.

The officials said the Shogo Sin, Shushgai and Miragram Laspur hydropower projects in various parts of Chitral were likely to cost up to $1 billion and the FWO would foot the bill.They said the FWO would finance the projects on built, own, operate and transfer (Boot) basis with both the sides finalising a memorandum of understanding on it at the moment.

The officials however said currently, terms and conditions of the understanding had yet to be finalised.An official said the Shogo Sin project was to produce around 132 megawatts electricity with its cost coming to $270 million.

He said the Shushgai hydropower project was likely to generate 144 megawatts electricity at a cost of $288 million, while the Miragram Laspur project’s capacity was around 230 megawatts electricity with its cost coming to $522 million.

The official said work on those projects was likely to begin in the next fiscal year and complete in five years.

He said though the FWO would built, own and operate these power stations before transferring them to the provincial government, the concession period had yet to be decided.

The official said at the current stage, the government hoped that it would get water use charges and some other form of share though nothing was final.

He said the projects were among a dozen such projects planned by the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (Pedo).The official said the projects were part of the 10 years hydel energy action plan prepared by the Pedo under which a total of 24 hydropower projects were to be executed from 2011 to 2020.According to the Pedo’s action plan, there are three short-term projects with installed capacity of 56 megawatts that are to be built over a period of three years at the estimated cost of Rs12 billion.

In the medium term, there are eight projects with the estimated capacity of 626 megawatts that are to be executed with an estimated cost of Rs130 billion in five years. Also, there are 13 long-term projects with a potential of generating 1,418 megawatts at the estimated cost of Rs187 billion over a period of 10 years.

The action plan notes that the Shusghai and Shogo Sin projects have been included in the five-year medium-term development plan and Laspur Miragram project in the long-term one.Pedo chief executive officer Akbar Ayub neither took calls by Dawn on his cellphone nor did he respond to a text message.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2017

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