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LAHORE: Wapda generated about 34 billion units of low-cost, clean, and green hydel electricity in 2023, which is 2.2 billion units more than that of the last year.

According to the year-ending report, this increased hydel generation helped national exchequer save about Rs106 billion if the same quantum of electricity was to be generated through expensive, imported fossil fuels.

It may be noted that the outgoing year 2023 has been a satisfying year for hydropower and water sectors in Pakistan.

The country witnessed increased generation of hydel electricity, while under-construction Wapda projects in water and hydropower sectors also achieved major milestones in 2023.

Most importantly, Wapda hydel electricity costs only Rs3.51 per unit; and it constitutes about 30% of the total electricity provided to the national grid.

Wapda owns and operates 22 hydel power stations, including Neelum Jhelum, with a cumulative generation capacity of 9459 Megawatt (MW). According to the generation details of 2023, Tarbela generated 12.9 billion units, Tarbela 4th Extension 4.4 billion units, Ghazi Barotha 6.8 billion units, Mangla 4.7 billion units, Neelum Jhelum 1 billion unit, Warsak 0.8 billion units, Chashma 0.9 billion units, and rest of Wapda hydel power stations cumulatively generated 2.5 billion units.

Year 2023 also augured well for under-construction Wapda projects. Despite economic crunch, construction work on eight Wapda projects continued unabated.

Wapda achieved the landmark of river diversion at Dasu Hydropower Project in February 2023, while diverted River Indus at Diamer Basha Dam through test-run. Wapda is likely to achieve the milestone of river diversion at Mohmand Dam Project in the next three to four months.

Wapda is developing eight mega projects for water, food, and energy security of the country. These projects are scheduled for completion from 2024 to 2028-29 in a phased manner. On completion of these projects, 9.7 million acre feet will be added to the gross water storage capacity. In addition, the hydel generation of Wapda will almost be doubled to 20,000MW with an increase of approximately 10,000MW in the next five years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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