ISLAMABAD: The first unit of the strategically important 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, will be inaugurated on April 13.
Official sources said that the Prime Minister is likely to inaugurate the first unit which would supply around 242 MW electricity to the national grid system.
The long-awaited hydropower project is at last about to see the light of the day because all works, critical in nature, have already been completed. These works included construction of the dam, de-sander, waterway system including head and tailrace tunnels, underground powerhouse, transformers hall, switchyard and transmission line to evacuate electricity generated by the project.
Besides installing electro-mechanical equipment, most of their tests have also been successfully conducted. The first unit will start electricity generation on April 13, followed by the second, third and fourth units at one-month interval respectively.
The sources that water filling in head race tunnel had already been commenced, followed by wet commissioning test in order to start generation.
The head race tunnel is a component of 52-kilometre long waterway system of the project that has been constructed underground in the high mountain areas to divert water from the water reservoir to the powerhouse of the project.
The project will provide about five billion low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs50 billion.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is an engineering marvel with 90 per cent of the project being underground in the high mountain areas.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project consists of three main components i.e. a dam, a water-way system comprising 52-km long tunnels and an underground powerhouse.
The project has four units with installed capacity of 969-MW. Following electricity generation from Golen Gol Hydropower Project in January and Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project in February this year, the third hydropower project of WAPDA i.e. Neelum Jhelum is also going to start electricity generation in next month.
For optimal utilisation of water and hydropower resources in the country, WAPDA has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for the purpose.
Under the strategy, not only the under-construction projects are being completed in the shortest possible time but new projects are also being initiated in both water and hydropower sectors.