LAHORE - WAPDA is striving for optimal exploitation of hydropower potential to cope with the increasing demand of electricity in the country, said WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani. During his visit to the projects sites of Diamer-Basha Dam and Dasu, Pattan and on-going three high-head hydropower projects namely Khan, Allai and Dubair Khwar on Thursday, the Wapda chief said that nature has blessed Pakistan with the potential of generating more than 54,000 MW of hydel electricity. With a view to inject low-cost electricity in the National Grid, WAPDA is working on feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs of a number of hydropower projects with accumulative capacity of about 25,000 MW including Kohala (1100 MW), Bunji (5400 MW) and Dasu (4000 MW), he said. The Chairman revealed that the feasibility study of Dasu hydropower project is expected to be completed in October this year, adding that rest of the studies are also at the advance stages of their completion and most of the projects would be available for construction by the next year. He said multi-purpose Diamer-Basha Dam and run-of-the river Dasu Hydropower Project would contribute more than 18,000 and 19,000 Gigawatt hours electricity annually to the National Grid respectively. He was briefed that 3 Khwar projects of 323 MW would start power generation one by one from 2009 onwards. Expressing satisfaction on the progress, the Chairman directed the project officials to expedite work on the projects sans compromising on laid down standards of quality and safety.