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March 2, 2018

Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project to start generation from March-end


March 2, 2018

LAHORE: Neelum Jhelum hydropower project is expected to start electricity generation by the end of the current month as water filling in head race tunnel started on Thursday.

Chairman Muzammil Hussain of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) said the first unit will start electricity generation by end March, followed by the second, third and fourth units with one month interval, respectively.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that following electricity generation from Golen Gol hydropower project in January and Tarbela 4th extension hydropower project in February this year, the third hydropower project of Wapda i.e. Neelum Jhelum is also going to start

electricity generation by the end of current month,” Hussain said, addressing a ceremony to celebrate the water filling in the head race tunnel.

The project is expected to provide around five billion units low-cost hydroelectricity to the grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs50 billion.

The head race tunnel is a component of 52-kilometre long water way system of the project that has been constructed underground in the high mountain areas to divert water from the reservoir to the power house of the project.

Subsequent to filling of the head race tunnel, wet commissioning of the first generating unit will be carried out.

Wapda chairman underlined the significance of pressurisation (water filling) of the head race tunnel and congratulated the project management, the consultants and the contractors on achieving this critical target.

He also lauded their concerted efforts towards implementation of the project. “The long-awaited Neelum Jhelum hydropower project is at last about to see light of the day because most of the works – critical in nature – have already been completed,” he said.

The 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 equipments, most of their tests have also been successfully conducted.

On utilisation of water and hydropower resources in the country, Hussain said “Wapda has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for the purpose”.

“Under the strategy, not only the under-construction projects are being completed in the shortest possible time but new projects are also being initiated in both water and hydropower sectors,” he added.

“Wapda is trying its best to award contracts for Mohmand and Diamer Basha dams within a year to supplement significantly towards existing water storage and hydropower generation capacities in the country.”

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