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Pakistan commissions first unit at 1.4GW Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project

EBR Staff Writer Published 27 February 2018

The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (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.

WAPDA plans to commission the second unit at the hydro facility by the end of April 2018 followed by the third unit by the end of May this year.

The extension project is aimed at providing renewable and low cost electricity during the high-demand summer season.

By June 2018, WAPDA plans to add 2.4GW low-cost hydro electricity to the National Grid with phased completion of three hydropower projects. These projects include the 108MW Golen Gol, the 969MW Neelum Jhelum and the 1410MW Tarbela fourth extension.

WAPDA said in a statement: “It is worth mentioning here that the 1410 MW-Tarbela 4th Extension is a component of least-cost energy generation plan being implemented by WAPDA on priority to meet electricity requirements in the country and increase the ratio of hydel electricity in the National Grid to stabilize electricity tariff for the consumers.”

The Tarbela fourth extension project would increase generation capacity of the existing Tarbela Hydel power station from existing 3.4GW to 4.8GW. It is expected to provide 3.84 billion units of electricity annually to the country’s national grid.

The project is backed by funding from the World Bank through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). In September 2016, the World Bank approved an additional financing (AF) of $390m for the project. 

Image: Officials commission the first unit of Tarbela fourth extension hydropower project in Pakistan. Photo: © WAPDA.