LAHORE: The first hydropower project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – 720MW Karot Hydropower Project (HPP) – has started trial operations after two of its four units/turbines began power generation of 360MW on a test-run basis.

The unofficial commercial operation of the project (power generation by all four units) will begin by June 25 when the third and fourth units would also start trial operation in the coming days, paving the way for its inauguration by the prime minister on June 30, Dawn has learnt.

“The third unit will also start running within the next 10 days or so,” an official source in the Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB) told this correspondent on Saturday.

“The fourth unit would also be put under trial operation by June 15. All the units would start an unofficial commercial operation by June 25,” he added.

It may be mentioned that the Karot project was earlier scheduled to complete by August. However, completion of various phases at a fast pace enabled the project team to complete it by June 30—two months before the timeline.

At present, all works of the project, including most tests of the turbines, have been completed. The water filling of the pond was complete already.

The work related to the laying of the transmission line for evacuating power, transmitting and adding it into the national grid for supply to the distribution system was already done.

The project is being constructed on the river Jhelum at the dual boundary of Rawalpindi, Punjab and Kotli, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK). It is being executed by China Three Gorges-CWE Investment Corporation, a leading Chinese firm, which is incorporated and registered in Pakistan as the Karot Power Company Limited.

The project is the first of the three CPEC’s hydropower projects, which will start power generation before its actual deadline. The other two projects are 870MW Sukki Kenari HPP and 1,124MW Kohala HPP.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2022

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