LAHORE: The Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project touched on Tuesday the highest generation of 1,040MW, beyond its installed capacity of 969MW, setting a rare precedence in the hydel power sector under well-coordinated administrative and technical efforts of the engineers and efficiency standards of the turbines and other equipment, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain told Dawn.
Wapda, he said, considered it a great success and planned to celebrate it by awarding cash prizes and appreciation certificates to the engineers engaged in the operation of the project.
“When your intention is good, things move in the right direction, making everything go well and sometimes beyond your expectation. So the same has happened with the project that earlier touched 969MW generation—its full and installed capacity—twice and then 975MW once. And now, thank God, this project is running beyond its capacity of 969, as it touched maximum generation to 1,040MW, 71MW higher than the installed one,” Wapda chairman said.
“This all has happened due to availability of sufficient water flows, excellent performance of the turbines and technically well-coordinated efforts of the engineers working in the staff. So I will surely award cash prizes, appreciation certificates and other rewards to all those who achieved the highest generation,” he added.
The project had started operation with the commissioning of its first unit on April 13, last year. A phased commissioning of the three other units was completed by Aug 14, when the project generated electricity to its maximum capacity (969MW). On March 29, this year as water flows increased with the onset of summer, the project once again touched its maximum generation capacity, as all if its four units (turbines) started running on full load (installed capacity) of 242.25 megawatt each.
As the project, constructed on the River Neelum in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has a dam at Nauseri, an underground waterway system consisting of 52-km-long tunnels, and an underground powerhouse at Chattar Kalas, since its commissioning in April 2018, injected over 2.1 billion units (kWh) into the national grid till March 29, this year.
“Since each of the four turbines is of 242.25MW capacity, it ran beyond its power, touching around 260MW (each) on Tuesday. And the same efficiency would continue in future too,” he claimed.
According to Wapda spokesperson, as many as 280 cubic meter per second (Cumecs) water is required to run all the four units of the project, which is currently available during high-flow season in River Neelum. Such flows normally last from April to August every year.
He said the project, since its commissioning in April 2018, has so far injected over 2.35 billion units (kWh) into the national grid. These days, the project is providing more than 20 million units per day. The annual energy production from the project is expected to achieve the planned 4.6 billion units during 2019,” Wapda chairman explained.
Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2019