Frontier Works Organization (FWO) came into being on 31 October 1966 to carve out land link across the highest mountain ranges of the world, the Karakoram Highway (KKH) - commonly known as Eighth Wonder of the World. It has come a long way since then and progressed tremendously to become one of the largest firms in Pakistan today, specialized in numerous fields of civil engineering. Beyond frontiers, the Organization has successfully undertaken construction and rehabilitation projects in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Liberia and UAE.
Since its inception, FWO has worked for the people of Pakistan, from the remote areas of Balochistan to the treacherous mountains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and from the deserts of Sindh to snowcapped Siachin. Over these years, FWO has played a leading role for the development of communication infrastructure including roads, railway lines and airfields, dams, barrages, canals, thermal and hydelpower projects, tunneling, mining, telecommunication, residential/industrial units and proved its unmatched qualitative and quantitative potential.
As a development organization, FWO is committed to uplifting of national infrastructure and has completed numerous mega projects in challenging environments such as China - Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) road network in Southern Balochistan, various motorways and roads in the difficult terrain of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan.
FWO has completed challenging mega projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa such as Gomal Zam Dam, Nahqi Tunnel, and the Central Trade Corridor linking Pakistan with Afghanistan. Western Route of CPEC has been further connected with Afghanistan at Ghulam Khan and Angoor Adda through development of Central Trade Corridor. Along Eastern Route of CPEC, Lahore - Islamabad Motorway has been rehabilitated and modernized while Karachi - Hyderabad Motorway, Lahore-Sialkot Motorway and Swat Motorway have been completed recently. In Balochistan, FWO has completed 878 kilometers road network to connect Gwadar with Chaman and with Indus Highway for the operationalization of CPEC.
FWO constructed and operationalized the Kartarpur Corridor project in just ten months duration while the first ever prefabricated state of the art Isolation Hospital and Infection Treatment Centre (IHITC) Islamabad, to treat Covid-19 patients, has been constructed in record period of just 40 days during current year. The Organization is looking towards increasing its footprint abroad by establishing its offices in Iraq and Saudi Arabia after UAE. FWO is the pioneer of 'Public Private Partnership' (PPP) roads projects in Pakistan; several ventures have been implemented throughout the country under PPP mode. Cognizant of its national obligation, FWO has always promptly responded to all natural calamities and disasters, and shall remain prepared for any such eventuality in future as well.
FWO's 54 glorious years portray the growth of a small but dedicated workforce into the largest construction organization of the country which has demonstrated its competence in diverse fields of infrastructure development. In execution of projects, FWO remains committed to its motto, 'Sustaining Excellence' with integrity and sincerity and takes pride in cultivating the culture of quality work at no extra cost. In all humility, more than 1300 officers, soldiers and workers of FWO have sacrificed their lives for the Motherland.
FWO's experience in multiple fields, its flexible organization, large work force, large pool of machinery and reputation of quality construction in stipulated time-frame qualify it to be the first choice for any client. With an illustrious track record, FWO looks forward to greater challenges and stands better equipped and organized than ever before to meet them. FWO's 'Joint Ventures' with multinationals on projects both inland and abroad is a reality with number of projects acquired in UAE.
Currently FWO is executing a number of projects across the country including Diamer-Basha Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam, Jagran Hydro Power Project, Machike-Thallian-Taru Jabba White Oil Pipeline, Timergara-Khar-Mamad Gat Road, Havelian-Dhamtour Road, Dualization of Old Bannu Road, Jaglot-Skardu Road, Hakla-DI Khan Road, mining projects in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Isolation Hospital and Infection Treatment Centre (IHITC)
Pakistan, like other countries couldn't escape from the COVID-19 pandemic FWO accepted the challenge of constructing Pakistan's first ever prefabricated specialized hospital to treat patients suffering from infectious diseases at Islamabad in just 40 days, in collaboration with National Institute of Health and National Disaster Management Authority.
The 250 bedded hospital is being used to treat not only Coronavirus infected patients under best available equipment and medication but also for treatment of other infectious diseases.
Kartarpur Corridor Project was an ambitious undertaking encompassing more than 800 acres of land around Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. It included expansion of the compound of the Gurdwara to accommodate greater number of pilgrims on special occasions. Great care was taken to preserve already existed historical places and objects.
The architectural designs of the newbuildings were kept in harmony with Sikh architecture in general and the Gurdwara and its domed structure in particular. The enormity of the project can be seen from the fact that more than 100 contractors worked round the clock to meet the given timelines. The old Gurdwara complex was spread over 4 acres. It has been expended to 104 acres in Phase 1 and after completion of Phase 2, it will cover an area of 408 acres.
Diamer - Basha Dam
This is a Joint Venture of Power China Company and FWO. The project includes construction of diversion system, main dam, an access bridge and 21 MW Tangir Hydropower Project. Diamer Basha Dam is a roller compacted concrete dam with 14 spillways, 8.1MAF Gross Storage capacity, 6.4 MAF generation capacity of 4500 MW. It will be completed by 2028. The project would create job opportunities for the locals while on the other hand it would be a milestone for the country and FWO.
Kurram Tangi Dam
The project situated in North Waziristan is a component of the Federal Govt least cost energy generation water storage development strategy. The strategy aims at improving the ratio of Hydel Electricity in the National Grid to provide relief to the people in addition to developing water storage capacity for agriculture in the country. FWO has planned to implement the project in two stages. Stage-1 includes Kaitu Wier Irrigation & Power Component. It will develop 16,830 acres of land in addition to hydel generation of about 18 MW. Benefits of Stage-1 of the Kurram Tangi Dam have been estimated at Rs 1.5 Billion per annum.
Jaglot-Skardu Road is a major link between Gilgit and Skardu. FWO has the privilege of its initial track construction which was completed in 1984. Length of this road is 162 kilometers having 3.66 meters width. Now the upgradation of Jaglot-Skardu Road will increase the width of this road and lessen the time taken to travel to Skardu.
Jagran Hydropower Project
A series of dams has been planned in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to overcome electricity shortage in the country. This is the second dam being constructed on Jagran River near Muzaffarabad, which will generate 48MW electricity on completion. Work on the project is in full swing and would be completed in three years.
Swat Motorway & Twin Tube Tunnels
The building of 81 kilometers long four lane Swat Expressway has become a transformative step for the province, generating tremendous benefits for its people and contributing towards development of the region. The Motorway connects Karnal Sher Khan Interchange on (M1) with Chakdara, tunneling its way through the mountain at Palai & Ala Dhand areas. 2 kilometers of the road falls in Nowshera, 18 kilometers in Swabi, 40 kilometers in Mardan and 21 kilometers in Malakand.Swat Expressway Project has been undertaken by FWO on BOT basis. Construction of twin tube uni-directional 4 lane (2 lanes each tube) tunnels through Malakand Range are also being constructed as part of the project to reduce the travel time.
The building of this 91.4 kilometers long four lane motorway on BOT basis has recently been completed, which links Sialkot with M2 and N5 through Lahore link road near Kala Shah Kaku. The route runs parallel to GT Road, passing east of Daska, Sambrial and ends in Gujrat. It has reduced the travel time between Sialkot and Lahore to just 50 minutes.
Machike-Thallian-Taru Jabba White Oil Pipeline (MTT WOP) Project
Pakistan imports 70% of its oil products (Diesel & Petrol) which are further transported throughout the country. From Karachi Port till Macheke (Shiekhupura), oil products move in a pipeline. From Machike towards North of Pakistan, all oil products move through oil tankers exposing human lives to danger. After construction of this project, FWO willcomplete the Pipeline network from Karachi to Khyber. Commissioning of this project will result in less congestion on roads with safe and secure move of oil products. The project is being developed jointly with Engro Energy Limited. Project is likely to be commissioned by June 2023.
FWO has always played a pivotal role as first responder during various national disasters and emergencies. May it be rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts after 2005 earthquake, project of lowering of Attabad lake, round the year opening/rehabilitation of KKH, recent urban flood relief operations in Karachi or any other relief activity, FWO's efforts have been commended at all levels.
Mineral Exploration & Development Organization (MEDO)
MEDO is undertaking exploration and mining in base metals and dimension stones across Pakistan since 2015. Working on the principles of indigenization, value addition and welfare of locals, MEDO is working on Muhammad Khel Copper Mining Project (MKCMP), Nagarparkar Granite Mining Project (NGMP) - Sindh, Chipurson Metal Mining Project (CMMP) - Gilgit Baltistan. Geological and Geophysical (G&G) exploration of Base Metals has been carried out in three locations of Gilgit Baltistan i.e. Nazbar (20 Square Km) District Ghizer, Chillim (13 Square Km) District Astore and Bunji (20 Square Km) District Gilgit.
Future Pursuits & Initiatives
FWO is cognizant of the need for strategic development plans and corresponding responsibilities. FWO has conceived and planned projects of immense national significance to capitalize on the enormous opportunities through PPP and BOT Regime.
Sarsabz-o-Shadaab Pakistan Campaign
Remaining part of the Army, FWO has tried to contribute to the maximum in 'Sarsabz-o-Shadaab Pakistan' campaign every year since 2018. FWO has prepared a comprehensive plantation plan for Lahore - Islamabad, Swat and Sialkot motorways spanning the next two and a half years. The plan is based on progressive plantation of local trees and caters for their protection and nourishment for initial three years. Once the plan is fully executed, we should have almost one million additional trees lining over motorways.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
FWO has established medical, educational and water facilities along all major projects as a CSR initiative. FWO is presently managing Construction Technical Training Institute (CTTI) at Islamabad and FWO Institute of Technical Education (FITE) at Risalpurto meet its technical organizational needs and to impart technical training to youth. FWO Model School system is also a hallmark in the domain of CSRs. Under this domain, Model Schools at Dumba Goth, Nooriabad, Multan, Pindi Bhattian, Sheikhupura and Chaklala; and FWO APS & College at Chaklala and Cobbe Lines Rawalpindi are providing services to the local populace under CSR.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020