LAHORE: The strategically important and much-delayed Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP) is all set to start electricity generation by the end of this month, as the water filling in head race tunnel commenced on Thursday.

The head race tunnel is a component of 52 kilometre long water way system of the project that is constructed underground in the high mountain areas to divert water from the water reservoir to the power house of the project. Subsequent to the filling of the head race tunnel, wet commissioning of the first generating unit will soon be carried out.

Water and Power Development Authority Chairman Lt-Gen retired Muzammil Husain said at a ceremony at the project site most of the critical works had been completed. These works included construction of dam, de-sander, water way system including head and tail race tunnels, underground power house, transformers hall, switchyard and transmission line to evacuate electricity generated by the project. Besides installing electro-mechanical equipment, most of their tests have also been successfully conducted. “The first unit will start electricity generation by March, followed by the second, third and fourth units at one month interval respectively,” the chairman said.

He said following electricity generation from Golen Gol Hydropower Project in January and Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project in February this year, the third hydropower project - NJHP - was also going to start electricity. The project would provide about five billion low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated around Rs50 billion.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018

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