LAHORE: Adequate water availability this year saved Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) Rs35 billion owing to additional hydro electricity generated, sources said.

According to PEPCO data, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) delivered 23.652 billion units to the National Grid during July-April 2011 compared with 20.492 billion units of hydropower supplied during July-April 2010. Additional water availability in the system made this increase of 3.160 billion units possible, said officials.

During the first nine moths of this fiscal, Tarbela produced 12.3 billion units, Ghazi Brotha 5.50 billion units and Mangla 4.26 billion units. The remaining power was generated from 10 small hydro electricity generation units of WAPDA.

PEPCO procures hydroelectricity from WAPDA at Rs1.07 per units. The additional power generation saved PEPCO Rs35 billion that it would have paid had the generation been managed through furnace oil or diesel.

Energy sector expert Mohsin Syed said that power generation from furnace oil costs PEPCO Rs12 per unit, while a unit generated from diesel costs Rs18.

Sources in Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said that enough water is available in the reservoirs to facilitate the sowing of Kharif crops this year.

They said 0.607 million acre feet of water was still available for irrigation on April 8 this year compared with only 0.171 MAF at the same time last year.

They said that as the weather warms up, more inflows are expected in the system from the melting of glaciers. “We can expect better Kharif yields this season as the inflows are expected to increase in coming weeks,” said an official.

They said there was no shortage of water for the winter crops as well.

They said that the mean inflows in the system are less than last year, but IRSA has been able to issue higher indents for water releases due to water available in the two large dams of the country.

Sources said that on April 8, 2011, the inflow at Tarbela fell to 20,007 cusecs from 27,001 cusecs on the same day last year. They said the water released from Tarbela on Friday rose to 30,000 cusecs from 27,001 cusecs on the same date last year.

Tarbela reservoir had 0.029 MAF water as its level was 1,380 feet on April 8 this year compared with availability of zero MAF and level of 1,378 on April 8, 2010.

The data provided by IRSA shows that water available for irrigation in Mangla Dam surged to 0.534 MAF from 0.158 MAF on the same day in April 2010. The inflow at Mangla rose to 29,000 cusecs from 27,400 cusecs on April 8, 2010. The outflow from the dam rose to 45,000 cusecs from 25,000 cusecs on April 8, 2010.

The releases from Chashma on April 8, 2011, fell to 42,000 cusecs from 46,000 cusecs last year.