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Chashma Power Units Remain Closed Due To Lack Of Funds

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Power was informed that two units each of Chashma and Mangla hydroelectric power projects have remained closed since 2016 and 2017, and the government is yet to release any funds for the import of new parts for the Chashma plant.

The parliamentary committee, headed by Senator Fida Mohammad, was informed by a Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) official that it had identified an ideal site that is capable of producing 7,500 megawatts of hydroelectric power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Unfortunately, the National Transmission and Despatch Company refused to give PEDO any assurances over the transmission of electricity to the site, the official added.

A member of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), while briefing the standing committee, informed that two units of Mangla were closed in 2017 for refurbishment, while turbines and generators of two units of Chashma remain closed since 2016 and awaiting an overhaul.

Senator Mohammad asked the member Wapda to help him understand why consumers could not consistently enjoy cheap electricity.

The participants pointed out during the meeting that Wapda was waiting for the government to release funds that would allow the authority to import spare parts for the Chashma units.

On this, the member Wapda apprised the committee that the power house of Golen Gol hydroelectric power project was hit by a landslide, due to which the project was temporarily shut down. One unit of the plant has now been restored, he added.

The committee also requested Wapda to provide details of the total losses that the closure of the Chashma and Mangla power projects had incurred on the national exchequer.

Meanwhile, the standing committee was informed that Wapda was capable of generating 9,771 MW of hydroelectric power and the capacity can be enhanced to 29,000 MW by 2040.

It merits mention here that out of the total 27 power stations in the country, around 22 are owned by Wapda while the rest were owned by the independent power producers (IPPs).

Earlier this month, Wapda had announced that the hydel power stations that the authority owned and operated had collectively generated the highest amount of electricity during peak hours on July 31, and for the first time ever in Pakistan the 8,000 MW mark was crossed.

According to the announcement, the hydel power stations supplied 8,158 MW of electricity to the national grid during peak hours on July 31. In addition, the quantum of hydel power registered an increase of about 600 MW of power when compared with the same time of the previous year.

The additional 600 MW of power had increased the share of hydel electricity in the national grid, with the main contributors being the Tarbela Hydel Power Station, Tarbela 4th Extension hydroelectric power project and Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric power project.

The final statistics of power production during peak hours showed that Tarbela Hydel Power Station generated a total 3,496 MW of energy, Mangla Hydel Power Station generated 280 MW, Tarbela 4th Extension produced 1,410 MW, Ghazi Barotha produced 1,450 MW of power and Neelum-Jhelum generated 978 MW. Meanwhile, the other power stations collectively transferred 544 MW to the national grid.



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