Lahore: Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali has directed WAPDA to make sure that the 130 MW-Duber Khwar and the 22 MW-Jabban hydropower projects are completed by October.
He further asked WAPDA to also ensure completion of all ongoing projects in accordance with the timelines set by the federal government. The minister gave these directions while presiding over a meeting held to review the progress on the ongoing hydropower projects at WAPDA House in Lahore today. Chairman WAPDA Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, members of the WAPDA Authority and senior officers were also present on the occasion.
Ali said that all efforts of the federal government are geared towards overcoming the energy crisis in the country through short, medium and long term strategies. He said that National Energy Policy 2013, the first consensus based document of its kind, has clearly outlined the objectives to transform Pakistan from being an energy starved country to being a self-sufficient country in terms of energy security. He said that there are clear instructions of the Prime Minister to fast track the projects in the energy sector, adding that the hurdles in the way of early completion of the projects will be removed at every cost.
The Minister of State said that the present government is paying full attention to power generation from indigenous and cheap sources such as hydel, coal, solar, wind and biomass. He said that induction of low-cost hydel energy into the national grid is on the top of the government’s power agenda which is aimed at providing relief to consumers by lowering electricity tariff. He said that it is the government’s endeavour not only to complete ongoing projects as early as possible but also launch new hydropower projects for the purpose.
He said that changing the energy mix in favour of low-cost sources of power production will provide the ultimate solution vis-à-vis reduction in power tariff and bridging the gap between demand and supply of electricity. Terming the retirement of circular debt as a significant achievement of the federal government, he said that 1700 MW was inducted into the system following the payment of circular debt.
Briefing the minister, Chairman WAPDA said that WAPDA is simultaneously working on a number of water and hydropower projects under a comprehensive strategy in line with the vision of the federal government. Dilating upon the projects under short, medium and long-term plan, he said that these projects are at various phases of implementation. He assured the Minister that the 17 MW-Satpara, and the 22 MW-Jabban and the 130 MW-Duber Khwar hydropower projects will start contributing electricity to the national grid after their completion in October this year.
The chairman WAPDA also briefed the minister about progress on 969 MW-Neelum-Jhelum and 106Golen Gol hydropower projects. Apprising the minister of the projects’ issues, he requested him to resolve financial issues. He said that 12851 MW would be available in the national grid under the medium term plan from 5 to 7 years, adding that another 14970 MW of low-cost hydel energy will be inducted into the national grid under the long-term plan in a period of 7 to 10 years. However, he said that in order to ensure timely completion of these projects, the funding is a crucial factor. He assured the Minister that WAPDA is committed to meeting the timelines identified for completion of all under construction projects.