The Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority (Wapda), after approval of the World Bank, awarded the contract of $312 million to a consortium for electro-mechanical (E&M) works of the 1,410MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project. The consortium comprises of two internationally renowned companies namely Voith Hydro of Germany and Voith Hydro Shanghai of China.
The agreement was signed at Wapda House on Friday. Project Director Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project and Chief Executive Officers of the both firms signed the agreement on behalf of Wapda and the consortium, respectively. It is pertinent to mention that the civil works of the project are already underway. The project has been scheduled to be completed in three and a half years at an estimated cost of $928 million. The World Bank is providing $840 million for the project.
Tarbela project is a part of least-cost electricity generation strategy of the federal government being implemented by Wapda on priority. This strategy reflects the federal government’s commitment to add a sizeable quantum of hydel electricity to the national grid, which would help overcome power crisis in the country, and improve the share of low-cost hydel electricity in the overall system besides reducing power tariff and providing relief to the consumers.
Tarbela extension project will increase the generation capacity of Tarbela Hydel Power Station from 3,478MW to 4,888MW, after installation of three units of 1,410MW on Tunnel No 4. On completion, Tarbela 4th project will add about 3.84 billion units of low-cost electricity to the National Grid per annum. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about Rs 30.7 billion.
The project will pay back its cost in just three years. It will also be instrumental in saving foreign exchange on import of almost one million ton of furnace oil annually, required for the equivalent generation of electricity from thermal sources. The project will also provide a cushion to undertake rehabilitation and up-gradation of the existing Tarbela Power House during the lean period.