The contribution of hydel power by the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to the National Grid during first quarter of fiscal year 2019-20 surged to a historic level, as it provided 15.20 billion units of hydel electricity to the system in July-September 2019. WAPDA added about 1.
85 billion units more if compared with the generation during the corresponding period of the last fiscal that was 13.34 billion units.
The record hydel power generation during the first quarter (July-September) of this fiscal year became possible due to improved water flows, effective maintenance and effective operation of WAPDA hydel power stations and most importantly, newly constructed hydropower projects, Neelum Jhelum and Tarbela 4th Extension in particular, which operated to their maximum power generation capacity.
According to the details, during first quarter of fiscal year 2019-20, Tarbela 4th Extension provided 2.83 billion units, while Neelum Jhelum contributed 1.42 billion units to the National Grid. Likewise, Tarbela Hydel Power Station provided 6.31 billion units and Ghazi Barotha 2.28 billion units; whereas Mangla, Warsak and other hydel power stations owned and operated by WAPDA generated 2.34 billion units, thus, totaling to 15.20 billion units.
This added contribution of WAPDA hydel electricity to the system greatly helped the country in meeting electricity needs and stabilizing the electricity tariff for the consumers, as hydropower is the cheapest, cleanest and environment-friendly electricity. In view of the significance of hydropower for economic stability and social development in Pakistan, WAPDA has been vigorously working to increase the share of hydel electricity in National Grid. That is why Pakistan was ranked 3rd in the world by International Hydropower Association (IHA) for newly installed hydropower capacity with an addition of 2487 MW. At present, total installed capacity of as many as 22 WAPDA hydel power stations stands at 9389 MW.
It is worth mentioning that hydropower plants, the world over, have average life span of 30 to 35 years, but WAPDA still successfully operates its hydel power stations, majority of which are far older than their average life. Despite aging factor, WAPDA hydel power stations are still capable to be run at their maximum generation capacities.