LAHORE - Wapda provided 1.969 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid through its hydel power stations during the first two weeks of July 2015, which are 313.4 million units more if compared with 1.655 billion units generated during the corresponding period last year.

Thus, Wapda hydel power contribution registered an increase of about 19 per cent at a time when electricity demand in the country is on the surge towards its peak. It is also worth mentioning that the peak sharing by Wapda hydel power stations remained 6709 megawatt (MW) yesterday against 6109 MW on the same day last year, registering an increase of 600 MW. The increased hydel contribution was made possible due to efficient operation and maintenance of hydel power stations and better hydrological conditions.

It is also pertinent to mention that Tarbela and Mangla hydel power stations have been generating more electricity than their installed capacities now-a-days. For instance, Tarbela yesterday generated 3492 MW against its installed capacity of 3478 MW, while Mangla generated 1115 MW against its installed capacity of 1000 MW. It is important to note that unlike thermal power stations, the installed capacities of both Mangla and Tarbela hydel power stations have not been deteriorated by a single MW despite the fact that some of their units are as old as 40 years.

The cumulative generation capacity of Wapda hydel power stations is 6902 MW, which is about one-third of the total system. Wapda delivered 31.944 billion units to the national grid in fiscal year 2014-15. To what extent hydel electricity has been instrumental in stabilising the overall electricity tariff in the country, can be measured from the fact that its generation cost remained merely Rs.2.76 per unit during July 2014 - April 2015. Contrary to this, it was Rs. 7.74 for gas, Rs.16.25 for residual furnace oil (RFO), Rs.18.81 for high speed diesel (HSD), Rs.12.56 for coal, Rs.5.59 for nuclear, Rs.12.83 for wind and Rs.10.89 for bagasse.