Wapda to add 9,000MW to grid by 2028

Published February 28, 2021
The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) pledges to add 9,000MW of low-cost hydel power to the national grid by completing seven mega hydropower projects by December 2028. — Reuters/File
The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) pledges to add 9,000MW of low-cost hydel power to the national grid by completing seven mega hydropower projects by December 2028. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: With 11 million acre feet gross water storage to irrigate three million acres of agriculture land, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) pledges to add 9,000MW of low-cost hydel power to the national grid by completing seven mega hydropower projects by December 2028.

The projects prioritised to be completed with allocation of adequate funds over the next eight years include Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-I), Mohmand Dam, Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I), Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project, Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project (Stage-I), Sindh Barrage and Diamer-Bhasha Dam.

“We have no financial issue as we have allocated adequate funds, deployed human resources for timely completion of the aforementioned projects by 2028,” Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain told Dawn on Saturday.

Wapda, which secured international credit rating of ‘B-’ with a stable outlook in March last year from international rating agencies, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) — a prerequisite for green Eurobond issuance — is already contributing Rs271 billion as equity for three mega hydropower projects — Diamer-Bhasha, Dasu and Mohmand dams. It has also adopted a fast track multi-pronged strategy to arrange funds for completion of Kurram Tangi Dam (Stage-I), Tarbela 5th Extension, Keyal Khwar (Stage-I) and Sindh Barrage. Wapda’s Rs271bn equity for three projects includes Rs176bn, Rs66bn and Rs29bn for Diamer-Bhasha, Dasu and Mohmand dam projects, respectively.

Seven mega hydropower projects to irrigate three million acres of agricultural land

“The financial arrangement for the aforementioned seven projects is based on the funding by the federal government under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), local and foreign commercial financing and Wapda’s own contribution (equity),” the chairman maintained.

According to a document, the authority seems determined to complete 18.9MW Kurram Tangi (Stage-1) by next year. The project will help in irrigating 16,000 acres with annual generation of 79 million low-cost hydel electricity units. Mohmand Dam, which is planned to be completed by 2025, will have a gross water storage capacity of 1.29 million acre feet, irrigating 176,000 acres agriculture land. The project will be generating 800MW (2.86 billion units annually), besides providing drinking water to Peshawar (300 million gallons per day).

Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I) will be completed by 2025/26, generating 2,160MW (12 billion units annual generation). Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project will be completed by 2026, generating 1,410MW (annual generation of 1.810 billion units). Keyal Khwar Hydropower Project (Stage-I) completion timeline has been set as 2026. The project will have the installed capacity of 128MW (annual generation of 418 million units).

Diamer-Bhasha Dam’s timeline has been set as 2028/29. The gross water storage capacity of the dam is 8.1 million acre feet while the installed power generation capacity is 4,500MW (18.1 billion units annual generation). It will irrigate 1.23 million acres. Sindh Barrage’s completion is also expected in 2026. Its gross water storage capacity is two million acre feet whereas the land to be irrigated is 150,000 acres.

“The civil work on Tarbela-5th extension will be launched by June this year. The tendering/bidding process for Keyal Khwar will be carried out again due to an internal issue between the joint venture of Chinese and Pakistani firms to whom the project was awarded earlier,” the Wapda chief said, adding that the Sindh Barrage’s completion will end the issue of shortage of fresh water in the province.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2021

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