Sunday March 26, 2023

Neelum-Jhelum unit-1 no more functional

June 01, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Rs503 billion Neelum-Jhelum project of 969MW has sustained another blow as its unit-1of 242.25MW has also started leaking oil and the management has halted its operation on May 31. The unit-4 is already closed down after its rotor was damaged.

According to the management of the project, the unit-4 will take at least four months to come on stream, but officials at the site insisted claiming the unit-4 will take 8-9 months to start generating electricity as it has been dismantled by Chinese experts from Herbin city who will get it repaired.

Now, under the new scenario, the unit-1 of the project has also been closed down on May 31 -- the last day of the PML-N government on account of oil leaking from its seal. The oil was leaking for more than one week, but the management decided to keep the unit-1 operational till May 31 to avoid the wrath from the top man of the PML-N government, putting aside the fact that the unit-1 may sustain more damage if it was run till May 31. However, on the last day of the government, the management has closed down the unit-1. Officials privy to the development said that this unit may also take 1-2 months to repair the seal to avoid the oil leakage. This means that the project would not be able to inject half of its electricity into the system for certain period.

The News sent a questionnaire to Lt Gen (retd) Muzammil Hussain, Wapda Chairman and Brig (retd) Muhammad Zareen, CEO of NJHPCL, some four days ago and made phone calls to them, but both neither responded nor replied to the questionnaire in the WhatsApp. However, both have read the questions as the blue sign emerged. The question was that has the unit-1 started leaking the oil, and if yes then why the management continued to make it operational till May 31, as the unit-1 may have sustained more loss.

The News also took the Wapda spokesman in the loop but no reply was given even after four days. However, the Wapda spokesman made the point saying during reliability test of the unit, teething problems can emerge, and the objective of the reliability test is to find out faults of the units.

The Wapda press release issued on Wednesday said that unit-2 has also been successfully synchronised and has started generating 180MW and with due course of time, the unit-2 will attain its maximum generation of 242.25MW. It also mentioned in the press release that Unit-3 of the project has started generating 242.25MW of electricity, but the snapshot of electricity record of today (Thursday) arranged from NPCC telling a different story that Neelum-Jhelum project is contributing only 242MW of electricity.

This means that only one unit is operational, which is unit-3. This means that unit-1 has hit snags and is no more functional. The NPCC record also does not mention the electricity in the system from the unit-2 which has been synchronised and generating 180MW as was mentioned in the Wapda press release issued on Wednesday. The officials said that so far Neelum-Jhelum project has injected the electricity in the system of worth Rs01 billion.