Exploiting hydropower potential can end national power crisis in 5-6 years

Lahore: National power crisis, which is seriously affecting the industry and causing serious problems for the people in form of load shedding across the country, can be resolved in next five to six years keeping in view potential for generating hydropower, especially at River Indus, media was told during study tour to dams, grid stations, Indus River basin and power transmission units.

Currently, Pakistan’s total power demand is around 20,000MW and national grid faces shortfall of 6000-7000MW. Media men were told there is over 37,000MW power generation potential on River Indus and its tributaries. National Transmission & Dispatch Company NTDC arranged media study tour through Pakistan Electric & Power Company PEPCO.

Water & Power Development Authority WAPDA is planning 26 projects on River Indus and related tributaries to incorporate their collective 37,312MW potential into national grid. Of these 26 hydropower projects, feasibility studies of 12, which are in first priority consisting of 31,879MW, are about to be completed and construction work might start soon.

NTDC engineers are hopeful that power crises will be nullified in coming 5-6 years, if WAPDA executes these projects in time. These include Bunji Dam 7100MW, Basha Dam 4500MW, Dasu Dam 4320MW, Pattan Dam 2800MW, Thakot Dam 2800MW, Neelum Jhelum Dam 969MW (where work is in advanced stage), Azad Pattan Dam 650MW, Suki Kinari Dam 840MW, Kohala Dam 1100MW, Yulbo Dam 3000MW, Tungas Dam 2200MW & Skardu Dam 1600MW. For these projects, technical advice is being taken from British company Power Planners International, said NTDC Deputy Manager Muhammad Ishaq.

Director Zaffar Iqbal Niazi said although major dams required at least 5 to 6 years to be completed, hydro-generated electricity would be added to national grid through small dams, three powerhouses, Duber Khwar, Khan Khwar & Allai Khwar of 324MW being examples. He said cost per unit will be around Rs 1.25 after construction of some dams. These three powerhouses generate electricity through waterfall tributaries of Indus.

Ishaq said NTDC made 246 kilometres long 220KV double circuit twin needle transmission line in very short span of time. The line will transmit 325MW of electricity from power stations installed over Dabair Khuwar Khan Khuwar & Allai Khuwar to Islamabad via Mansehra district.

He said there are total of 12 sub stations of 500KV with capacity of 14,850MVA whereas 26 sub stations of 220KV with capacity of 15364MVA are required to cater to country’s needs. NTDC also connected 8 independent power plants of 1725MW to national grid station. They include Nishat Power 200MW, Nishat Chunian 200MW, Hub Narowal 225MW, Liberty Power Faisalabad 200MW, Atlas power Sheikhupura 225MW, SAIF power Sahiwal 225MW, Halmour Power, Sheikhupura 225MW & Orient Power Baloki 225MW. Work at 425MW Nandi Pur power plant is in progress. he said 300MW Chashma Nuclear Power Plant has been connected to national grid via 220KV lines 140 kilometres in length.

To make feasible import of 1000MW electricity from Iran, installation of a transmission line route is in its last stages. A feasibility report is being prepared for transmission of 2400MW to be generated through Sindh Thar coal deposits. Its PC-I would be forwarded to the government this month.

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