LAHORE - State minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has directed Wapda to make sure that the 130 MW-Duber Khwar and the 22 MW-Jabban hydropower projects are complete by October.

Presiding over a meeting at Wapda House here on Thursday, he asked the authority to also ensure completion of all ongoing projects in accordance with the timelines set by the federal government. Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah, Wapda members and senior officers attended.

Abid Sher said that National Energy Policy 2013 clearly outlined the objectives to transform Pakistan from being an energy starved country to being a self-sufficient country in terms of energy security. He said that there were clear instructions of the Prime Minister to fast-track the projects in the energy sector, adding that the hurdles in the way of early completion of the projects would be removed at every cost.

“Induction of low-cost hydel energy into the national grid is on the top of the government’s power agenda which is aimed at providing relief to consumers by lowering electricity tariff.”

He said that it was the government’s endeavor not only to complete ongoing projects as early as possible but also launch new hydropower projects for the purpose. He said that changing the energy mix in favour of low-cost sources of power production would provide the ultimate solution vis-à-vis reduction in power tariff and bridging the gap between demand and supply of electricity. Terming the retirement of circular debt as a significant achievement of the federal government, he said that 1700MW was inducted into the system following the payment of circular debt.

Briefing the minister, Wapda chairman said that authority was simultaneously working on a number of water and hydropower projects under a comprehensive strategy in line with the vision of the federal government. Dilating upon the projects under short-, medium- and long-term plan, he said that these projects are at various phases of implementation. He assured the Minister that the 17 MW-Satpara, and the 22 MW-Jabban and the 130 MW-Duber Khwar hydropower projects will start contributing electricity to the national grid after their completion in October this year.

The chairman also briefed the minister about progress on 969MW-Neelum-Jehlum and Golen Gol hydropower projects. Apprising the Minister of the projects’ issues, he requested him to resolve financial issues. He said that 12851MW would be available in the national grid under the medium term plan from five to seven years, adding that another 14970MW of low-cost hydel energy would be inducted into the national grid under the long-term plan in a period of seven to 10 years.

 However, he said that in order to ensure timely completion of these projects, the funding is a crucial factor. He assured the minister that Wapda was committed to meeting the timelines identified for completion of all under-construction projects.