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    Time to unlock KP hydel potential for affordable electricity, arresting load shedding

    Time to unlock KP hydel potential for affordable electricity, arresting load shedding

    PESHAWAR (APP): Installing solar system on rooftop of his house, Riazul Haq-a former PST teacher is seemed satisfied after making Rs 3lac investment hoping to get relief of the long hours power outages mostly caused by direct hocks, non meterization and  unconstruction  of dams in KP that irked consumers.

    “Today I am pleased to install a complet solar penal on Rs300,000 investment helping me to run an AC and refrigerator around 24 hours,” he told APP after installation work at his hometown of Pabbi Nowshera.

    Taking advantage of decrease prices of solar system, he said that solar panels are now in the common man reach and people may take advantage of it as Wapda could not afford uninterrupted electricity to all domestic, agriculture and industrial consumers due to increase of power pilferage and non meterization in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    He said the menace of loadsheeding could not be addressed unless taking advantage of massive hydel power potential in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    Inspite of 60,000MW hydel power potential of Pakistan including 30,000MW of the Khyber Pakthukhwa, the energy crisis has deepened in recent years due to kunda culture, increase in prices of oil and petroleum products, high taxation and non-construction of new dams besides poor energy policies of the past governments in KP that adversely affected agriculture, economic and industrial growth in the country.

    The untapped hydel power potential of KP has increased gap between supply and demand of electricity during start of summer, resulting an increase in load shedding mostly high line losses feeders in peripheries of Peshawar, Bannu, DI Khan, Karak, Lakki Marwat and merged tribal districts.

    Akhtar Hameed Khan,  Chief Executive Officer Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) Akhtar Hameed Khan said that load management was being done only in areas where line losses were high in KP.

    He said that there was no load management on more than 500 feeders with no line losses. There is zero load shedding in Hayatabad, Peshawar Cantonment, Gulbahar and other posh areas.

    He said that PESCO teams were regularly conducting operations across the province to reduce line losses.

    He said that directives were issued to the field teams to accelerate operations to reduce load management. He said PESCO staff were further directed not to carry out any additional or unannounced load management across the province.

    Under aggregate technical and commercial losses (ATCL) formula, only scheduled load shedding was being carried out in areas with high ATCL losses such as Bannu, rural areas of Peshawar including Warak Road, Chagarmathi and Regi and DI Khan district. Swat, Swabi, Interior Peshawar and Hazara was comparatively better in term of low line losses and high recovery.

    He said the non-meterization and direct hocks in merged areas mostly overload the power distribution system besides causing fluctuation and tripping of electricity that often caused burning of expansive transformers.

    Prof Dr. Zilakat Malik, former Chairman Economics Department of the University of Peshawar said that hydel energy was cost efficient for developing countries like Pakistan and underscored the need for construction of water reservoirs and small dams for sustainable economic growth and floods mitigation in the wake of climate change challenges.

    Dr Naeem said China had constructed about 98,000 dams and India 5,334 dams while Pakistan has built only 150 dams since its independence and no big dam after Turbella.

    He said that the rivers in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab are most suitable for construction of dams especially small ones. ‘Pakistan has about 60,000 MW  hydel potential of which only 6,600 MW has been tapped so far with nearly half of it installed in KP ie 30,000MW.

    Engr Zahoor Hussain, Director Projects, Wapda (North) said that over 80 percent work on multipurpose Kurram Tangi (Stage-1) Bannu and North Waziristan has been completed and expected to be inaugurated by the end of this year. He said design and feasibility studies of its stage-II was under process that would be  completed with a loan assistance of Asian Development Bank.

    Engr Zahoor said that 1.2 million acres feet water would be stored and 80.9MW electricity to be generated from Kurram  Tangi Dam.

    He said that over three million people of southern districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa would be directly benefited from Kurram Tangi dam.

    He said that the credit for Kurrum Tangi dam goes to former Prime Minister  Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who had laid its foundation stone on March 3, 2017.

    Besides completion of 108MW Golen Gol dam in Chitral, he said work on Mohmand dam of 800MW with 1.293 MAF water storage capacity was accelerated  that after completion would supplement/irrigate 160,000 acres of existing land and about 18,237 acres of new land with annual benefits of Rs2.23 billion.

    Likewise, 300 million gallons water per day will also be provided to Peshawar for drinking purpose with benefits of Rs.957 million from Mohmand dam. Mohmand dam would save Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera from floods having annual benefits in terms of flood mitigation was estimated at Rs1.467 billion besides producing 2.86 billion units of environment-friendly electricity to the National Grid every year with annual revenue of Rs. 45.76 billion. The overall annual benefits of the project stand at Rs. 51 billion.

    Hamza Khan, PMLN Nowshera President, accused the PTI government for its poor policies that led to electricity crisis in the country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Had the PTI rulers completed Mohmand and Bhasha dams timely, the present energy crisis would not have surfaced today.”

    He claimed that over 100 mini micro hydel power stations constructed by the PTI government with the help of NGOs in northern KP were either destroyed or damaged by the 2022 floods due to poor selection of sites thus huge taxpayers money wasted.  

    On the other hand, he said PML-N had always been taking a proactive approach to end the energy crisis. The construction work on a high voltage direct current (HVDC) convertor station was in progress at Azakhel Bala Nowshera district under the CASA-1000 Project for transmission of 1300 MW inexpensive, clean, and environment-friendly electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan.

    The CASA-1000 Project carried a great example of mutual cooperation between the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan aimed at harnessing clean energy trade and building a shared regional electricity market, fighting climate change, and increasing standard of living for their populations.

    The HVDC converter station Nowshera would be linked by an HVDC transmission line to efficiently transmit electricity from hydropower-rich Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan via Afghanistan and onward via Torkhum to Afghanistan.

    He said that Rs205.38 billion were allocated for power sector projects (HPP) in the budget 2023-24 include 2,160 MW Dasu HPP (Rs. 58,597 million), 1,410 MW Tarbela IV Extension (Rs. 590 million), 969 MW Neelum Jhelum (Rs. 4,828 million), and 1,530 MW Tarbela V Extension (Rs. 4,449.463 million).

    Major transmission projects such as CASA-1000 (Rs. 16,099.255 million), Dasu Evacuation (Rs. 5,667.094 million), Suki Kinari Evacuation (Rs. 13,800 million), and AMI IESCO project in the distribution sector (Rs. 3,000 million) in budget 2023-24.

    Additionally, eight projects for supplying electricity to Spcial Economic Zones (SEZs) have been allocated a total of Rs. 7,267.352 million and by the end of June 2024, the transmission sector is expected to have an additional capacity of 3,750 MVA on the 500kV grid and 6,900 MVA on the 220kV grid. The transmission lines will be extended by 522 km on the 500kV level and 668 km on the 220kV level.

    Resultantly, 6,985 villages would be electrified and 1,403,592 consumers for Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to be facilitated besides extending distribution lines of 132 kV by 1,843 km, and the capacity of 132 kV grids would be strengthened.

     KP Energy Department officials told APP that 36.6MW Daral Khwar HPP Madain Swat was completed and electricity generation with over Rs1.3 billion annual benefits started. Likewise, 300MW Balakot HPP worth Rs 85 billion approved by ECNEC would be constructed on River Kunhar in Mansehra.

    About 10,000 MW projects are in different stages of implementation with a potential to generate about Rs100 billion annual revenue and efforts is on to utilize the remaining 14,000 MW through construction of new hydropower projects.

    Three hydropower projects (HPPs) amounting of Rs177.244 billion including construction of 96 MW Batakundi amounting of Rs 40 billion and 188MW Naran of Rs70 billion Manshera would be developed with collaboration of International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Shangla. Feasibility study of 20.8MW Shangla HPP completed.

    496MW Spat-Gah HPP amounting US$ 1,015 million is being developed for which MoU between KP government having 26pc share and M/S Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) with 74pc share was signed. Gabral Kalam and Madyan HPP having 245MW capacity would be constructed with Rs115 billion.

    Modification in Malakand-III HPP amounting Rs 778 million initiated to generate additional 154 GWh electricity with Rs 382 million annual benefits. Work on seven different HPP having cumulative generation capacity of 214MW including Koto 69MW, Karora 11MW, Jabori 10MW, Matioltan 84 MW, Lawi 69MW, Capri Charkhel 10.2MW and Barando 6.5MW with Rs eight billion annual economic benefits were in different stages of completion. 

    Malakand-III (81 MW), Daral Khawar (36.6MW), Ranolia (17 MW), Pehur (18 MW), Machai (2.6MW), Shishi (1.8MW) and Reshun (4.2 MW) with accumulative 161.2MW generation commissioned to generate Rs5.4 billion revenue annually. About 12.8 million units would be saved having Rs 203 million annual economic benefits after converting 4,000 mosques on solar energy.


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