LAHORE – The first unit of Jinnah Hydropower Project has been put on trial commission this week. The test-run will continue for 15 days, Wapda said on Tuesday.

The 96MW Jinnah Hydropower Project – a run-of-the-river scheme – is located on the River Indus adjacent to the Jinnah Barrage in Mianwali district. The overall completion of the project is expected by the mid of this year. On completion, the project will generate about 688 million electricity units annually, thus, yielding an estimated benefit of Rs 6 billion per annum.

According to the Wapda, Jinnah Hydropower Project is a component of least-cost energy generation plan being implemented by Wapda on priority. “The objective of the plan is to improve the ratio of low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid, so as to stabilise the overall tariff in the system.

It is pertinent to mention that the share of hydel energy in overall energy mix is almost 32 per cent. It is also worth mentioning that average tariff for hydel electricity is Rs 1.54 per unit against the overall average tariff of about Rs 9 per unit.

Wapda spokesman said that authority was implementing several projects to harness the vital resource of hydropower in the country. As many as seven projects with cumulative capacity of about 1,500 MW were under construction, out of those five projects of 400 MW would be completed in 2012, he added.

“In addition, the 4,500MW Diamer Bhasha Dam and the 84MW Kurram Tangi Dam have also been initiated. Besides, the 1,410MW Tarbela 4th Extension and the 7,100MW Bunji Hydropower Project will soon be available for construction, as detailed engineering designs of the two projects are almost completed. Detailed engineering design of the 4,320MW Dasu Hydropower Project is also in progress, while the consultancy contract for yet another important project i.e. the 740 MW Munda Dam will be awarded next month,” said spokesman.