Consequent upon the improved hydrological conditions and availability of water, the first unit of Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project has started electricity generation with effect from June 8. The unit, which is in its reliability period now-a-days, has been providing 335 MW of electricity to the national grid, which will be gradually increased to its maximum capacity of 470 MW. Though this unit was completed in April, it could not start electricity generation for non-availability of water due to less inflows in River Indus at Tarbela in current year.
The second unit of Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project has also been put into wet commissioning three days ago. This unit is scheduled to enter its reliability period in first week of July.
It is worth mentioning here that under the 1410 MW Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project, three electric power generating units – each of them having capacity of 470 MW – have been installed at the Tunnel 4 of Tarbela Dam.
Tarbela 4th Extension is a component of least-cost energy generation plan being implemented by WAPDA on priority to meet electricity requirements in the country and increase the ratio of hydel electricity in the National Grid to stabilize electricity tariff for the consumers. With completion of the project, generation capacity of the existing Tarbela Hydel Power Station will increase to 4888 MW from the existing 3478 MW. Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project will provide 3.84 billion units of electricity to the National Grid per annum. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs. 30 billion. The project will pay back its cost in just three years.