36 MW Golen Gol Hydropower Project in Chitral was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The electricity generated from the first unit of the project is exclusively meant to cope with the needs of Chitral town and adjacent areas.
In the wake of devastating floods of 2015 in Chitral, the federal government directed WAPDA to supply electricity generated from the first unit of the project to Chitral to meet the energy needs for socio-economic development of the backward and far-flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
This quantum of electricity is three times more than the present requirements of Chitral, and will also cater the future demand of the electricity.
The project has been constructed on Golen Gol – a tributary of River Mastuj – near Chitral.
The total installed generation capacity of the project is 108 MW with three generating units – each of them having a capacity of 36 MW.
The first unit has been completed, while the second and the third unit would be commissioned in March and May 2018 respectively.
The project will provide 436 million units of electricity to the national grid every year. Benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs 3.7 billion per annum.
The approved PC-I cost of the project amounts to Rs 29 billion.
In addition to WAPDA’s own sources, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Saudi Fund for Development, Kuwait Development Fund and OPEC Fund for International Development had also been providing financial assistance for completion of the project.
It is said that with the completion of two more units of the project in March and May respectively adding 72MW more generation in the system, the project would become more than sufficient for the local needs and thus, shall also contribute to the energy needs of other parts of the province as well. Golen gol is a long waited project for the generation of total 108MW power for the system. Experts are of the opinion that the potential of small hydropower projects of the area can help to add low cost power to the system.