LAHORE : A team of PAF Air War College, Karachi visited Wapda House on Tuesday and attended briefings on the water and power development in the country. The team, led by Air Commodore Shahid Latif Bajwa, comprised officers from Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Army including 16 allied officers from different friendly countries. Wapda Member (Water) Hasnain Afzal, Member (Power) Rizwan Ahmad, NTDC MD Zia-ur-Rehman and senior officers of Wapda were also present on the occasion. The Member (Water) said that Wapda was committed to optimum development of water and hydropower resources in the country.

He said that Wapda was working on a comprehensive three-pronged strategy under the directions of the Federal Government. He said that a number of Wapda projects were at various phases of implementation, which, on completion, would augment the country’s water resources and add sizeable quantum of low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid.

Earlier, in a briefing relating to water and hydropower development, the team was informed that under a short-term plan of one year, various projects with cumulative water storage capacity of 3.98 million acre feet and power generation capacity of about 380 MW had been substantially completed. It was further informed that under a medium-term plan, a number of projects would be completed in five to seven years having water storage capacity of 2.5 million acre feet and electricity generation of 13000 MW, whereas projects of 15000 million acre feet of water storage and 15000 MW of electricity generation would be constructed under a long term plan spanning over seven to ten years.

In another briefing, the team was briefed about power sector reforms, existing power generation capabilities, generation mix, consumption patterns, line losses, and factors behind increase in electricity tariff. The team was also apprised of the Government’s efforts to overcome the electricity crisis. The team was informed of the load forecast, generation additions and long term transmission expansion plan to evacuate electricity from the power houses to the distribution companies.

Responding to questions of participants, the Member (Water) said that the country possessed an identified hydropower potential of 60,000 MW, adding that every effort was being made to harness this potential. He further said that 4500-MW Diamer Basha Dam Project, and 4320-MW Dasu Hydropower Project and 7100-MW Bunji Hydropower Project were ready for construction. He apprised that team that the contract of 1410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project was already awarded in addition to accelerating pace of work on the under-construction projects including Neelum Jhelum and Golen Gol. Hydel energy being the cheapest source will provide substantial relief in tariff which is currently high due to lesser share of hydel electricity in the overall generation, he added.