MIRPUR (AJK) - The 969 Megawatt Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project is fast heading towards completion here as dry testing of electro-mechanical equipment installed at the power house and the switch yard has started, said the Water and Power Development Authority.

Wapda Chairman Muzammil Hussain during his visit to the project near AJK's capital city of Muzaffarabad said that it was a matter of satisfaction that all critical activities on the project were being completed in accordance with the timeline, for which display of extra ordinary commitment and professional excellence by the project management, the contractors and the consultants is commendable.

He said that Wapda was looking towards the power generation from the fist unit of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project in February 2018. Wapda sources later said in an official statement that during the visit, the chairman was briefed that overall progress on the project stands at 95.4 percent.

The dam of the project has been substantially completed, while reservoir impounding will commence in first week of the coming month, they said. The water way system for diverting water from the reservoir to the power house will be completed by end December 2017, whereas wet commissioning of the generating unit will start in February 2018, they added.

The project is being constructed on River Neelum. It is an engineering marvel with 90 percent of the project being underground in the high mountain areas. The project consists of four units with installed capacity of 242.25 MW each. The first unit of the project is scheduled to go into operation by end February 2018 followed by the second unit in mid March and third and fourth units in April 2018. On its completion, the project will contribute about five billion units of electricity to the national grid annually. Annual revenue of the project is estimated to be Rs 50 billion, they said.