ISLAMABAD: The Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project has started providing electricity to the national grid on experimental basis. The first unit is contributing 60 MW of electricity to the system and will generate electricity to its full capacity to the tune of 242 MW in the next two days.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, located in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, is scheduled to be inaugurated on April 13. The project has four units with cumulative generation capacity of 969MW.
The project is an engineering marvel with 90% of the project being underground in the high mountain areas. The project consists of three main components i.e. a dam, water-way system comprising 52-km long tunnels and an underground power house. 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 Rs.55 billion.
For optimal utilisation of water and hydropower resources in the country, the 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. WAPDA is trying its best to award contracts for Mohmand Dam and Diamer Basha Dam within a year to supplement significantly towards existing water storage and hydropower generation capacities in the country.