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National

February 7, 2016

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Hydropower project’s ‘closure’ causes concern

BISHAM: The delay in carrying out repairs at the 72-megawatt Khan Khwar Hydropower project has triggered concern about its fate.

The project had been closed for the last six months apparently due to some technical fault or for overhaul.

Sources said a four-megawatt unit at the project had been closed over the last two years due to some major fault.

The sources told The News that the equipment at the dam site and powerhouse developed a serious fault and authorities of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) held the Chinese construction company responsible for the fault.

“The Chinese company had used substandard equipment while setting up the plant,” the sources quoted the Wapda officials as saying.

The Wapda officials alleged that millions of rupees had also been misappropriated in the project.

The sources said the Wapda officials had asked the Chinese company to replace the existing machinery but it refused to do so.

However, the officials of the Dungfang Electric Corporation said they had handed over the responsibility of the dam and powerhouse to Wadpa. “Now it’s the responsibility of Wapda to look after it and repair any fault in the project,” an official of the Chinese company said.

The sources said the purchase of new equipment for the project would cost the government Rs100 million.

They said the dislodging of the existing equipment and installation of new machinery would take three months to complete the process.

The sources said that a four megawatt production unit at the dam was already closed due to fault in the main power cable for the last two years. The sources feared that any further delay in the repair of the fault would cause irreparable loss to the machinery and equipment at the unit.

When contacted, Ghaniur Rehman, the private secretary to the Chief Engineer Khan Khwar project, Saifullah Khan, said that generation of power from the dam was halted as overhauling of the project was going on. He neither admitted nor rejected the reports about the developing a technical fault in the machinery.

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