LAHORE – 2023 has been a satisfying year for the hydropower and water sectors in Pakistan.
The country witnessed increased generation of hydel electricity, while under-construction WAPDA projects in water and hydropower sectors also achieved major milestones in 2023.
WAPDA generated about 34 billion units of low-cost, clean and green hydel electricity in 2023, which is 2.2 billion units more than that of the last year.
This increased hydel generation helped the national exchequer save about Rs106 billion if the same quantum of electricity were to be generated through expensive, imported fossil fuels.
Most importantly, WAPDA hydel electricity costs only Rs3.51 per unit; and it constitutes about 30% of the total electricity provided to the National Grid.
WAPDA owns and operates 22 hydel power stations including Neelum Jhelum with a cumulative generation capacity of 9459 Megawatt (MW).
According to the generation details of 2023, Tarbela generated 12.9 billion units, Tarbela 4th Extension 4.4 billion units, Ghazi Barotha 6.8 billion units, Mangla 4.7 billion units, Neelum Jhelum 1 billion units, Warsak 0.8 billion units, Chashma 0.9 billion units, and rest of WAPDA hydel power stations cumulatively generated 2.5 billion units.
The year 2023 also augured well for under-construction WAPDA projects.
Despite the economic crunch, construction work on eight WAPDA projects continued unabated. WAPDA achieved the landmark of river diversion at the Dasu Hydropower Project in February 2023, while diverting the River Indus at Diamer Basha Dam through a test run.
WAPDA is likely to achieve the milestone of river diversion at the Mohmand Dam Project in the next three to four years.
WAPDA is developing eight mega projects for water, food and energy security of the country. These projects are scheduled for completion from 2024 to 2028-29 in a phased manner.
On completion of these projects, 9.7 million acre-feet will be added to the gross water storage capacity.
In addition, the hydel generation of WAPDA will almost be doubled to 20,000 MW with an increase of approximately 10,000 MW in the next five years.