China to provide $ 448 million for Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project

Lahore, June 19, 2012 (PPI-OT): The China EXIM Bank will provide $ 448 million to help complete strategically important 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project (NJHP), while in yet another significant development, the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has also approved revised PC-I of the project amounting to Rs. 274.882 billion.

This was told in a meeting presided over by the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Shakil Durrani to review progress on the project, being constructed on Neelum River in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The meeting was also attended by Members of the Authority, NJHP Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other officials concerned.

Briefing the meeting, NJHP CEO said that assembling of the two German-manufactured state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines (TBMs) at site was in progress. The first TBM is expected to be operational in August, while the second one in September 2012. The use of TBMs will enhance the progress, thereby reducing construction period of the project by 18 months, resulting in an estimated benefit of Rs. 60 billion, he added.

The meeting was told that the construction work at all sites including main dam, de-sander, tunnels, and underground power house and transformers hall was in full swing. About 23 kilometres main and access tunnels have so far been excavated. The overall progress on the project stands at 35%, the meeting was further informed.

Later, WAPDA Chairman addressing the meeting said that NJHP was a vital project in view of the ever increasing needs of electricity in the country. Expressing satisfaction over the pace of work, he directed that every effort be made to complete the project as per schedule.

It is pertinent to mention that NJHP is being executed on priority to induct low-cost hydel electricity in the National Grid, and to establish priority water rights over the Neelum and Jhelum rivers, as India is also constructing Kishan Ganga Project upstream of NJHP. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

On completion, the project will contribute about 5.15 billion units of low-cost electricity per annum to the National Grid. Annual benefits of the project have been calculated about Rs.45 billion, while the project will pay back its cost in about seven years.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Abid Rana
Director Public Relations
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
G-32, WAPDA House, Lahore
Tel: +9242 9920 2633 and +9242 9920 2211 -2033 -2029
Cell: +92333 445 8293
Email: mabidrana@gmail.com

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