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LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has successfully commissioned generating units No. 5 and 6 of the Mangla Hydel Power Station, recently refurbished with the financial support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

With refurbishment, installed generation capacity of each unit has increased to 135 megawatt from 100 megawatt with cumulative increase of 70 megawatt from 200 to 270 megawatt.

USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen accompanied by her team witnessed commissioning of the two units during her visit to Mangla Hydel Power Station on Monday. She also unveiled a plaque to mark commissioning of the refurbished Units No. 5 and 6. WAPDA Member (Power) Jamil Akhtar, Mangla Dam Refurbishment Project Director and others were also present on the occasion.

“Today, the Mangla Dam rehabilitation work builds upon the foundational partnership of the original construction. USAID is proud of our enduring efforts with WAPDA to extend Mangla Dam’s useful service as a reliable source of clean energy and irrigation water,” said Ms. Julie Koenen while speaking at the event. “When Mangla Dam was built, it was one of the largest earth-filled dams in the world. Not only is it an impressive achievement in engineering, it is also an excellent example of long-lasting U.S.-Pakistan friendship and economic cooperation.”

Earlier, WAPDA Member (Power) in his welcome remarks thanked USAID for their continued support for the power sector in Pakistan and specifically in implementing Mangla Refurbishment Project. Elaborating the two-pronged strategy for optimal utilization of hydropower resources, he said that WAPDA has not only initiated new hydropower projects but has also been rehabilitating and upgrading its existing hydel power stations including Mangla to maximize the ratio of environment friendly and low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid.

In view of the aging factor of the generating equipment and availability of additional water due to the raised Mangla Dam, WAPDA is implementing Mangla Refurbishment Project with an approved PC-I cost of Rs 52.224 billion. USAID is providing US$150 million as grant, while balance is being arranged by WAPDA through loans and from its own resources for the purpose.

Mangla Refurbishment Project, on its completion, will enhance generation capacity of the existing Mangla Hydel Power Station from 1000 MW to 1310 MW, thus registering an increase of 310 MW. The average annual generation of Mangla Hydel Power Station will also increase from 5 billion units to 6.5 billion units. The refurbishment works have been divided into 11 different packages, which are being implemented in various phases, by closing down one tunnel (two generating units) at a time.

It may be mentioned that installation of the first four generating units i.e. Unit No. 1 to 4 at Mangla Hydel Power Station, having generation capacity of 100 megawatt (MW) each, was completed in 1967. Unit No. 5 and 6 were installed in 1974, while Unit No 7 and 8 in 1981. Mangla Hydel Power Station attained its maximum generation capacity of 1000 MW in 1994 with addition of Unit No 9 and 10.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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