ISLAMABAD - The contract for the main civil works of the 2,160MW Dasu Hydel power project between the government of Pakistan and China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) will be signed today (Wednesday).

The agreement for the main civil work of the Dasu Hydle power project which includes spillways, power house, penstock, tailgate etc will be signed today, it is learnt reliably here. The run-of-river hydro power project is being developed in two stages, stage-I include the installation of six hydropower units rated at 360MW each while stage-II will also have the same capacity.

According to the details, the first phase of the project was suppose to start this year and is scheduled for completion by 2021. The total cost of the 4,320MW Dasu Hydle power project is about $4.5 billion.

Dasu hydropower project (DHP) includes the construction of a 4,320MW hydropower plant on the Indus River near Dasu town in Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The project is located approximately 74km downstream of the Diamer Basha Dam, 240km upstream of the Tarbela Dam and 345km from Islamabad.

For the construction work of 4,320MW Dasu Hydropower project, 9,917 acre of land is required however, till December, Wapda has acquired only 97 acres of land mainly due to unavailability of land record and disagreement on the land prices. However, the source said that the condition of the land acquisition has been improved.

World Bank is providing $588.4 million as IDA-1 Credit for stage-I of Dasu project along with Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG) of $460 million under the loan agreement signed on August 25, 2014. The Bank has disbursed funds in respect of different components of the project like land acquisition, consultants invoices and mobilisation advance to contractors of preparatory works, etc. Beside, Wapda has obtained a loan of Rs144 billion from the local banks.

The feasibility study for the project was completed in 2009 and preparatory construction works for stage-1 commenced in May 2015. The construction of the main dam will start this year and stage-1 is scheduled to be online by 2021. On completion in five years, stage-1 of the project will contribute more than 12 billion units to the national grid per year.

However, an official of the Ministry of Water and Power said that the first phase has further divided in two phases of 1,080MW each. When contacted, Wapda Director Public Relation Khalid Rana, about the further division of the first phase, said that there is no further division of the project and the contract of main civil work is about the whole phase-I of 2,160MW. It is pertinent to mention here that China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) is also working Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.