LAHORE  -  Following completion of the civil and electro-mechanical works of the French-funded 22 mw Jabban Hydroelectric Power Station, first unit of the project was successfully put on test run on Wednesday.

The power station will start providing electricity to the National Grid very soon, said Wapda on Wednesday.  

French Ambassador Philippe Thiebaud and Wapda Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas Shah jointly unveiled the plaque to mark the event in a ceremony held at the project. French Development Agency (AFD) Vice President Gregory Clemente, Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan, MNA Junaid Akbar were also present.  

Jabban Hydroelectric Power Station has been reconstructed on Swat Canal System in Malakand Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with a total cost of about Rs 3.75 billion, out of which AFD has provided 25 million Euros – about Rs 3.4 billion – as a soft loan. The power station will contribute 122 million units of cheap electricity to the National Grid.

French Ambassador said that France, through AFD, was fully committed to help resolve the energy crisis in Pakistan. Referring to the Jabban Hydroelectric Power Station, he said that success of this first operation, as well as exceptional hydropower potential, encourages France and Pakistan to jointly engage in other projects in the future.

WAPDA Chairman thanked France for providing financial assistance to reconstruct Jabban Hydroelectric Power Station.

Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan in his address also highlighted importance of the project for the area.

Jabban Hydel Power Station was established in 1937 with a generation capacity of 9.6 mw. It was the biggest hydropower station when Pakistan came into existence in 1947. In 1952, its generation capacity was elevated to 19.6 mw.

During the early days of Pakistan when there were no mega hydel power stations like Warsak, Mangla and Tarbela, the Jabban Hydropower Station played a pivotal role in the development of newly-born country. After a significant contribution for socio-economic uplift for about seven decades, the power station was badly damaged in a fire incident in November 2006. Thereafter, Wapda decided to undertake complete rehabilitation/reconstruction instead of its repair. Under the rehabilitation work, four units of 5.5 mw each have been installed to elevate its generation capacity to 22 mw.