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August 11, 2020

KP invites private sector to develop 10 hydel sites

Business

August 11, 2020

KARACHI: Pakhtunkhawa Energy Development Organization (PEDO), after conducting pre-feasibility study of 10 raw sites in various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK), has invited private sector to develop small and medium hydropower projects, a document said.

The hydropower potential sites are mainly located in the northern districts of the province including Chitral, Dir, Swat, Indus Kohistan, and Mansehra.

It may be mentioned here PEDO’s master plan entails a total potential of more than 6,000 MW that has been identified for public and private sector development. PEDO has already completed four small and medium sized hydel projects with its own resources, which include 81MW Malakand-III; 18MW Pehur Hydropower Project; 1.8MW Shishi Power Project, and 4.2 MW Reshun Power Project.

Besides, PEDO is implementing three hydel projects having cumulative capacity of 56.20 MW with the assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB), which will be completed in three years. Construction work on 40.8 MW Koto HPP; 11.8 MW Karora New HPP, and 10.2 MW Jabori HPP is underway and these projects are likely to be completed in next two years.

According to Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), there is 60,000 MW of hydropower potential in the country, of which only 7,320 MW has been developed. Pakistan’s untapped hydropower potential largely lies in the mountainous north along the Indus River in the provinces of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the Jhelum River in Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan is currently amid an energy crisis. Some 51 million Pakistanis lack access to electricity, while a further 90 million suffer from unreliable power supply and load-shedding on a daily basis, which is having a serious impact on the economy.

An over-reliance on imported fuels for thermal generation subject to price fluctuations is at the core of the energy crisis, and the government remains under significant pressure to address an annual average power deficit of 4,000 MW.

Hydropower once underpinned the country’s power sector, accounting for 45 percent of power generation in 1991, but this share has dropped to around 30 percent, as short-term planning preferred thermal power plants.

However, hydropower is poised for resurgence and will play a significant role in addressing this power deficit, with some studies estimating the proportion of hydropower in the total electricity generation to increase to more than 40 percent by 2030.