HARIPUR: The first of the four units of the Tarbela Dam’s 4th Extension Hydropower Project began producing electricity here on Monday.

Wapda chairman retired Lt-Gen Muzammil Hussain inaugurated the unit by pressing a button during a ceremony attended by the relevant officials and representatives of local and foreign consultancy and contractor companies.

The Wapda chairman said the project would help ensure ‘energy security’ in the country.

He said the unit’s operationalisation had added 470 megawatts of electricity to the National Transmission System and that the entire project would contribute a total of 1,410MW to the national grid by May this year.

The Wapda chairman said under the project, three electric power generating units, each with a capacity of 470MW, had been installed at the dam’s Tunnel 4.

“The first unit has begun operation, while the second is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of April. The third and fourth units will begin generating electricity by the end of May this year,” he said.

About the end to power crisis, the Wapda chairman said the authority was committed to adding 2,487MW of low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid by June 2018 with the phased completion of its three hydropower projects, including 108MW Golen Gol, 969MW Neelum Jhelum and 1410MW Tarbela Dam’s 4th Extension.

He said by generating 2487MW of electricity, the three projects would bring about a real economic development in the country.

The Wapda chairman said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi would formally inaugurate the Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project in the second week of March.

After the project’s successful execution, the Tarbela hydropower station’s capacity will increase to 4,888MW from the existing 3,478MW.

The project will provide 3.84 billion units of electricity to the national grid annually with its annual benefits being estimated at Rs30 billion. It will pay back its cost in three years.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2018

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