ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali has said the Tarbela 4th extension power project would start supply 1410 MW to the national grid in July 2017.
In a media briefing during his visit to the project site, the minister said that around 49 per cent work had so far been completed on the Tarbela 4th Extension Power Project and the project would be commissioned in June 2017.
“The project will be fully operational in July 2017 and increase the volume of power supply to the national grid from 3,478MW to 4,888MW,” he said.
Abid said earlier the project was scheduled to be completed in 2018 but on the directive of the Prime Minister, work was expedited on the project and now it would be ready by June 2017.
He said the project would cost $ 929 million and generate additional 1,410 MW cheaper hydel electricity, increasing the total capacity to 4,888MW electricity.
He was of the view that the government would save $120 million, out of the total $929 million, and divert it to the 5th extension project for which tendering was in process.
The minister said World Bank would finance $796 million for the 5th extension and its design study has already been completed at a cost of $2.9 million.
“It will complete in a 39-month period once work starts on it. The project would be commissioned in March 2020,” he said and added that the 5th project would help bring the total power generation capacity to 6,298MW.
Abid said there was ‘zero’ load-shedding to industrial sector and no forced power load-management in any part of the country except those areas falling in high loses areas.
He termed the year-2015 ‘significant’ for the power sector in which the government reduced 1.5 percent transmission and distribution losses and saved Rs 135 billion and passed on its benefit to the consumers.
The minister said 3,600 MW Liquefied Natural Gas-based projects would complete in 2017, besides coal power plants would start generation by that time.
He regretted that pervious governments did not pay any attention to improve the existing power transmission system, which was almost 33 percent outdated or overloaded.
The present government, he said, was making sincere efforts to improve the existing transmission system, adding that groundbreaking of Matiari-Lahore transmission would be performed next month.
Besides, almost 60 percent work on Neelam-Jhelum transmission line had already been completed, he added.
General Managing Tarbela Hydro Power Project Iqbal Siddiqui and Project Director 4th Extension Sohail Khan were also present.