ISLAMABAD           -           The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Monday signed a contract worth Rs52.5 billion with a joint venture of Chinese companies for electro-mechanical works of Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I).

The joint venture, which has been awarded the contract for electro-mechanical works of Dasu Hydropower Project (Stage-I), consists of GE Hydro China and Power China Zhongnan Engineering Corporation.

Dasu Hydropower Project General Manager /Project Director Anwarul Haque and GE Deputy General Manager – the authorised representative of GE-PC JV - Aijun Xu signed the contract on behalf of their organisations in a ceremony here.

The contract includes designing, supply and installation of six francis turbines, generators, main transformers and station service switchgear along with related equipment.

French Ambassador, Chinese and the US diplomats, Water Resources Federal Secretary Muhammad Ashraf and Wapda Chairman Lt-Gen (Retd) Muzammil Hussain also attended the event.

Wapda Chairman Lt-Gen Muzammil Hussain, in his welcome remarks, said, “Today is an important day for Dasu Hydropower Project. The project is of vital importance to add a major quantum of hydel electricity to the national grid in order to minimise reliance on expensive thermal generation and lower the power tariff.”

Addressing the ceremony, Water Resources Federal Secretary Muhammad Ashraf said that ministry was committed to optimal utilisation of hydropower resources for generating low-cost and environment-friendly electricity to meet the energy requirements of the country for economic stability and social development. Dasu Hydropower Project, he said, was a manifestation of this commitment. He appreciated Wapda chairman for transforming it into a pro-active and dynamic organisation, adding that Wapda had been steadfastly moving to harness water and hydropower resources in Pakistan.

Earlier, French Ambassador Marc Barety and World Bank Country Director Illango Patchamuthu also addressed the ceremony.

4,320 MW-Dasu Hydropower Project is being constructed by Wapda on River Indus upstream of Dasu Town in Kohistan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The project will be completed in two stages – each stage having a generation capacity of 2160 MW. At present, Stage-I of the project is underway, while electricity generation from the project is expected to commence in 2024-25. Stage-I will contribute more than 12 billion units per annum to the national grid. The Stage-II will also provide another 9 billion units to the system every year.

The World Bank is partially providing funds for construction of the Stage-I of Dasu Hydropower Project to the tune of US $ 588. 4 million and partial credit guarantee (PCG) of US $ 460 million. The remaining funds are being arranged by Wapda from its own resources and with the sovereign guarantee of government of Pakistan.