10 mega dam projects to substantially generate hydel power on completion by 2028

Engineering Post Report

Pakistan has been blessed with enormous natural resources including mountain peaks, the masses of largest glaciers of the world   after polar region, diverse climates, mountainous regions, plains and deserts. One of these bounties of Almighty Allah is the frozen water of the north called glaciers. These frozen waters provide a source of water to more than 60 per cent of the population in three provinces of the country.

The water is also a source of one of the world’s largest irrigation systems called  the Indus River System. Nature has blessed these waters with  vast opportunities  for hydropower generation but unfortunately, the  successive civil and military governments somehow have not been able to take much of the benefit  of them to produce  sufficient energy.

Resultantly, the country is heavily dependent  on thermal power plants run by coal and fossil fuels. Energy so produced is  both expensive and detrimental  to the environment.

According to some estimates, the Indus Water in the north  has a capacity to generate about 100,000 megawatts of electricity  , but  today only 10,000 megawatts is being produced  meaning that just 10 per cent  o the total capacity of water to generate power. The increasing prices of fossil huels have also le to  a mammoth increase  in power tariffs.

In 20 years, from 2018 to 2028, 10 mega dam projects  are scheduled to be completed and this decade has quite ambitouously named as “Decade of Dams”. The storage capacity  will accordingly increase  from 13.6 million acres feet (MAF)  to as much as 25.3 MAF. This will additionally   also irrigate  about 3.5  million acres of new land which wil usher in an agricultural  revolution on in the country.

Hopefully and quite expectedly,  in the next four years, the hydel power generation capacity  of the country will be increased  by 4500 MW and by 2029, it will further go up to  9000 MW, hence in the next eight years, the hydel power generation capacity of the country  will almost be doubled.

 With the completion of  these mega dam projects, 35000 new jobs will also be created which will go a long way in improving the socio-economic  conditions of the country. To ensure   urban water security , 950 million gallons of  additional water  will also be provided daily.

These mega dam projects  include Diamir Bhasha Dam, Dau Hydropower project, Mohmand Dam, Kurram Tangi  Dam, NaiGanj Dam, Extension of  Tarbela Dam,  Harop Hydropower Project,  Reconstruction of Sindh Barrage,  Extension of Kahi Canals and Karachi  Greater Water  Supply Scheme.

Diamir-Bhasha Dam is one of the largest concrete roller compacted  dams  is under construction  40 kilometers off Chilas city. On completion, it will produce  4800 MW of electricity. Due to the construction of this new dam at the upstream end,   the silt load of the water  stored in Tarbela Dam will be substantially reduced and accordingly  the working life of Tabela Dam itself will be increased by 36 years.

Height of this dam is 272 meters and it comprises  8 spillways. Currently, the project is being by China Powere Company and the Frontier Works  Organization (FWO).

Dasu Hydropower Project is being constructed on the run of the river  at 7 km from Dasu to Chilas which is  345 kilometers  away from Islamabad. The project on completion will produce  4320 MW of power . In the first phase , six units will be commissioned  to generate 2160 MW while in the second,  its capacity will be doubled. The project is expected to be completed  by 2026.

Mohmand Dam, previously called Munda Dam, is being constructed over the river Swat at a distance of 37 km towards the north of Peshawar. On completion, the project will generate 740 MW of power and irrigate 15000 acres of land. The retun of the dam will include Rs  5 billion  from water storage,  Rs 120 billion of power generation and 80 million  from flood mitigation every year.

Harop Power project is located on the left bank of River Indus at 75 km  towards the north of Skardu City and will produce 340 megawatt of energy among other projects.

These mega hydropower projects, planned to be completed in the next 10 years, will quite expectedly transform  the power sector, agriculture and manufacturing sector. Socio-economic development will also be ushered in the country with the completion of these projects one after the other as scheduled. In view of these mega dam projects, there is dire need that every one, irrespective of political affiliations and considerations being  a politician ,civilian , retired government servant and the men in the streets should wholeheartedly support  them.