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December 13, 2019

World Bank praises Tarbela-4 project for being completed at less than its cost


December 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: World Bank has showered the praise on Tarbela-4 Hydropower project with capacity to generate 1410MW saying it is now fully operational and over 5600GWh (Gega Watt hours) have been generated so far with the cost of over $688 million since its commissioning. And this is how the project has almost recovered its cost which approximately stands at $749 million as it has generated so far electricity valuing $688 million.

Rikard Liden, Task Team Leader of World Bank Mission in its letter written on December 3, 2019 to Project Director Tarbela Fourth Extension Hydropower Project of which a copy is exclusively available with The News said that the T4HP is now fully operational and over 5,600 GWh have been generated since commissioning. The value of the electricity generated for the country is over US $688 million using a conservative value of US Cents 12.3/kWh which is the cost of generation from LNG-based generation plants. This is approximately equal to capital cost of the project which is expected to be US $749 million (physical works and supervision and management excluding Interest during construction).

A World Bank Mission from October 21-November 22, 2019 conducted review of the status of implementation of T4HP and T5HP and discuss key issues that need to be addressed for proper implementation of the projects. It held detailed discussions with the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Project Teams including General Manager Water Tarbela, GM Power Tarbela, Project Director T4HP, and Project Director T5HP. The mission also had meetings with the consultants for T4HP and T5HP. The mission visited Tarbela on October 21 and October 22, 2019.

World Bank while praising the timely completion of the project said that the Project has been very successful and completed on time and in less than estimated cost. However, it mentioned that the power plant is fully operational and available for generation, but few works still need to be completed, mainly related to the completion of intakes for T3 and T4.

‘Based on recent decision by Wapda, low level intakes of both tunnels are to be plugged and power plants would be operated by operating the raised intakes. Though not large in quantity, remaining works on the intakes of T3 and T4 are intricate as they are to be carried out on operational plants and interruption in generation should be minimized, World Bank document says. World Bank also said that if Pakistan is to promote further hydropower to change the current generation mix, reduce the cost of generation, and dependence on imported fuel the practice of charging such high IDC (Interest during construction) to such projects would have to be revised.

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