FY 2018-19: WAPDA provides 31.425 billion units hydel power to National Grid

Despite low flows and less availability of water in the country, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) contributed 31.425 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid during the fiscal year 2018-19. This quantum of electricity is 4.358 billion units more if compared with the hydel generation of the fiscal year 2017-18. This additional contribution of hydel electricity not only helped resolve the issue of load shedding in the country but also stabilize the power tariff.

The increased hydel contribution became possible, as WAPDA successfully completed three long-delayed mega hydropower projects during the fiscal year 2018-19, with cumulative generation capacity of 2487 MW. With commissioning of the 108 MW-Golen Gol, the 1410 MW-Tarbela 4th Extension and the 969 MW-Neelum Jhelum hydropower projects, the installed generation capacity of WAPDA hydroelectric power surged to 9389 MW from 6902 MW, registering an increase of 36 percent in just one year. Prior to this, WAPDA could manage to take its hydel generation to 6902 MW in 59 years of its inception from the year 1958 to 2017. Besides addition of three new hydel power stations, effective operation and consistent maintenance of the already existed hydel power stations are the main contributing factors behind this increased hydel generation.

At present, WAPDA owns as many as 22 hydel power stations, including Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project. Hydroelectric 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. Inspite of the aging factor, WAPDA hydel power stations are still capable to be run at their maximum generation capacities.