LAHORE: In addition to initiating construction work on the 4,500 MW Diamer-Basha Dam Project next year, another half dozen mega hydropower projects including Kohala, Dasu, Bunji, Munda, Palas Valley would be undertaken in 2010-12.

This was stated by WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani during a briefing here at WAPDA House today arranged for a delegation of the 89th Management Course of National School of Public Policy, Lahore led by its Rector Lt. Gen. ® Javed Hassan. These projects would generate about 21,000 MW of electricity on their completion and help improve low-cost hydropower proportion in the national grid.

The delegation was briefed that Pakistan has been blessed with the identified hydropower potential of more than 54,000 MW but only 16 per cent of this potential has so far been taped due to variety of reasons.

After its bifurcation last year, WAPDA is fully focused on water and hydropower development. The work on 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project has already started, while feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs of most of the mega projects in both water and power sectors are currently at the advance stages and likely to be completed by the next year,

The delegation was informed that Pakistan is storing only 11 per cent of the annual water flows of its rivers and, if this capacity is not increased, Pakistan will be a water short country by 2012. The delegation was told that the accumulative gross storage capacity of Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma reservoirs that originally used to be 18.37 million acre feet (MAF), has reduced to 13.24 MAF due to sedimentation, resulting in 28 per cent loss of storage capacity.

PEPCO MD / Member (Power) WAPDA Fazal Ahmed Khan, dilating upon the various short and long term measures, said that PEPCO is striving hard to minimize the gap between consumption and generation of electricity. He appraised the delegation that the Government has made arrangements for induction of more than 9,000 MW to the national grid from January 2009 to December 2012.

Source: Daily Times