2nd generator of Neelum-Jhelum project to start trial operation in current month


ISLAMABAD, April 28 (TNS): The second generator of the Neelum-Jhelum project, one of the largest hydropower stations in Pakistan, will start trial operation this month, followed by the third and fourth units in the latter half of the year, according to China Gezhouba Group Co.

Ltd. (CGGC), also the main builder of China’s Three Gorges project. The first turbine generator officially started supply electricity to the national grid after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi made the project functional by pressing a button in the main control room on April 13.

The project, around 200 kilometers northeast of Islamabad, has four generators with a total capacity of 969 megawatts. Designed to generate 5.15 billion kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, the project aims to ease power shortages in part of Pakistan and is estimated to generate a fiscal revenue of 45 billion rupees (442 million U.S.

dollars) annually, said the Chinese construction giant, according to China Economic Net. The Neelum-Jhelum project is an engineering marvel as 90 percent of the project lies underground in high mountainous areas.

The project involves constructing a dam on the Neelum River, a waterway system comprising 68-kilometer-long tunnels and an underground powerhouse on the Jhelum River. Construction of the project began in January 2008 after a Chinese consortium that includes CGGC and China Machinery Engineering Corp.was awarded a 21-billion-yuan contract in 2007. CGGC said the project would provide about 8,000 jobs for locals. The project created 4,500 jobs besides leading to the socio-economic uplift of the area during the construction.

An amount of Rs 5,237 million has been earmarked to execute the projects for environmental mitigation, including girls high school, road, water supply schemes, recreational parks, grid station, basic health unit, bridges, water treatment schemes and watershed management.