ISLAMABAD: The first unit of strategically important 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project, located in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, will be inaugurated on Friday.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the first unit which will generate 242 MW electricity. The first unit will be followed by the second, third and fourth units at one month intervals respectively. Water filling in head race tunnel had already been commenced, followed by wet commissioning test in order to start generation.
The head race tunnel is a component of 52 kilometer long water way system of the project that has been constructed underground in the high mountain areas to divert water from the water reservoir to the power house of the project.
The project will provide about five billion low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs 50 billion. Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is an engineering marvel with 90% of the project being underground in the high mountain areas.
Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project consists of three main components i.e. a dam, waterway system comprising 52 km long tunnels and an underground power house.
The project has four units with installed capacity of 969 MW. Following electricity generation from Golen Gol Hydropower Project in January and Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project in February this year, the third hydropower project of WAPDA i.e. Neelum Jhelum is also going to start electricity generation during the next month.
For optimal utilization of water and hydropower resources in the country, WAPDA has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for the purpose. Under the strategy, not only the under-construction projects are being completed in the shortest possible time, but the new projects are also being initiated in both water and hydropower sectors.