LAHORE - The strategically important 969MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project has achieved yet another landmark towards its completion as water filling (pressurization) of its water way system comprising 51.5-kilometer long tunnels has commenced. Being a critical activity, the water filling in the water way system is being carried out in a phased manner. In first instance, the water filling (pressurization) has been started towards tail end.

Speaking on the occasion, Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project Chief Executive Officer Brigadier (Retd) Muhammad Zareen said that the project is fast heading towards completion and most of the works – critical in nature – have been successfully completed. Construction of the weir (dam) of the project, water way system, installation of electrical and mechanical equipments including turbines, generators and transformers in the power house and the switchyard and dry-testing of these equipments have already been completed. While, impounding of water in the reservoir is underway. Overall progress on the project stands at about 97 percent.

Meanwhile, WAPDA Chairman Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain (Retd), in a statement, has congratulated the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project authorities, the consultants and the contractors for achieving the milestone vis-à-vis water filling (pressurization) of the tail race tunnel. He reiterated that WAPDA is committed to completing Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project as early as possible.

It is worth mentioning that Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is a component of least-cost energy generation plan, being implemented by WAPDA on priority. The project is located in Azad Jammu & Kashmir with installed capacity of 969 MW. It has four generating units, each of them having a capacity of 242.25 MW. The first unit will start electricity generation in March this year, followed by the second third and fourth units at one month interval respectively. The project will provide about five billion of low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to the national grid every year.

Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs.50 billion.