LAHORE - WAPDA has completed installation of third and last radial gate on spillway of 969MW Neelum Jehlum Hydropower Project.

Authority spokesperson Wednesday termed the development a milestone in completion of rock-filled and concrete gravity composite dam located in Noseri, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project authorities arranged a ceremony at dam site to celebrate this achievement. WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mahmood was the chief guest of the ceremony. Project CEO Engineer Muhammad Zubair, Director Nayyar Ala-ud-Din and representatives of the contractor, consultants were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, Wapda chairman congratulated the project authorities on achieving the goal. He expressed hope that the project will be completed in accordance with the revised schedule, as most of the critical targets pertaining to construction of the project have already been achieved such as river crossing, connectivity of left and right headrace tunnels etc. During visit of the project, the chairman noted it with satisfaction that both tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have been effectively excavating the tunnel.

Earlier, project CEO briefed him about progress, saying the construction work on all sites was heading at a good pace. He apprised the chairman that dam and allied structures were about 80 per cent completed, while progress on the headrace tunnel was about 90 percent and on the power house was 87 percent. He further said that a sum of Rs.249 billion had so far been spent on construction of the project.

As per revised schedule, first generating unit of the project is expected to be completed in July 2017, whereas the remaining three units will come on line by the end of 2017 in various phases.

Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Company is constructing a world class underground power generation facility. The project envisages 90% construction work under high mountainous overburden and only 10% above the surface.

The project, on its completion, will contribute 5.15 billion units of low-cost and environment friendly electricity to the national grid.