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Neelum Jhelum hydro project in Pakistan starts electricity supply to national grid

EBR Staff Writer Published 10 April 2018

Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has started electricity generation from the unit 1, with 242MW capacity, at the 969MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower project in the country.

The first unit, on trial basis, is currently producing 60MW of electricity which is being supplied to the National Grid. The unit is expected to run at full capacity in next two days, the firm said.

Located in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, the Neelum Jhelum hydropower project will comprise four units, each with 242MW capacity.

WAPDA, a public utility maintaining power and water in the country, said in a statement: “Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is an engineering marvel with 90% of the project being underground in the high mountain areas.”

The project involves three main components including a dam, water-way system comprising 52km long tunnels and an underground power house.

In addition to providing annual benefits of about PKR55bn ($473.5m), the hydropower project is expected to supply 5,150GWh of low-cost electricity annually to the country’s National Grid.

Last month, WAPDA’s subsidiary Neelum Jhelum Hydroelectric Power Company has celebrated the achievement of water filling in the head race tunnel of the Neelum Jhelum project, in a ceremony at the project site.

The head race tunnel, which is a component of 52km long water way system, is designed to divert water from the reservoir to the power house of the project.

Subsequently, the firm has started wet commissioning of the first generating unit which is followed by the start of electricity generation.

Earlier this year, WAPDA has commissioned the first unit of the 1.4GW Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project, strengthening the country’s energy security.

The Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project involves a power house, a modified tunnel, and three power units each with 470MW capacity installed on an existing dam located 60km north-west of Islamabad on the main River Indus.

Image: The 969MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower project in Pakistan. Photo: WAPDA Photo.