Altaf Hamid Rao,
MIRPUR (AJK): Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Wednesday signed Project Implementation Letter (PIL) – 2 worth US$ 78 million for Mangla Refurbishment Project, it was officially declared.
“The USAID grant will be spent to undertake various works of Package V, VI, VIII and IX of the project. The PIL – 1 of US $ 72 million for Mangla Refurbishment Project had already signed between USAID and WAPDA in 2014”, WAPDA sources told media on Wednesday.
WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (R) and USAID Mission Leader Jerry Bisson signed the letter. WAPDA Member (Power) was also present on the occasion, it said.
The statement continued that in view of the aging factor of the generating equipment and availability of additional water due to the raised Mangla Dam, WAPDA is implementing Mangla Refurbishment Project with an approved PC-I cost of Rs.52.224 billion. USAID is providing US$150 million as grant and AFD is providing Euro 90 million as loan for the purpose, while rest of the amount is being arranged by WAPDA through loans and from its own resources.
Mangla Refurbishment Project, on its completion, will enhance generation capacity of the existing Mangla Hydel Power Station from 1000 megawatt (MW) to 1310 MW, thus registering an increase of 310 MW. The refurbishment works have been divided into 11 different packages, which will be implemented in various phases. The generating units will be refurbished by closing down one tunnel (two generating units) at a time. Refurbishment of the first two units will be completed in year 2019, while refurbishment of all 10 generating units is likely to be accomplished by year 2024.
It may be mentioned that WAPDA has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for optimal utilization of hydropower resources. Under the strategy, WAPDA has not only initiated new hydropower projects but has also been rehabilitating and upgrading its existing hydel power stations to maximize the ratio of environment friendly and low-cost hydel electricity in the National Grid.