Neelum Jhelum transmission line to be completed by next month

ISLAMABAD: The 153 kilometer long 500 kv double circuit Neelum Jhelum transmission line to evacuate 969 MW electricity from Neelum Jhelum hydro power project would be completed by end of October 2017.

So far 138 km of transmission line has been completed while work on remaining part is continued on fast track, as according to the schedule, the National Transmission and Distribution Company (NTDC) has to construct the complete line by October 18, 2017, an official of Water and Power Development Authority on Wednesday informed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms.

The official told that due to testing purposes, the system would need completed transmission line earlier than the scheduled operationalization of the project.

The committee was further informed that the national grid would receive 969 MW additional electricity by February 2018 when the much awaited Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project would start its commercial operation.

The meeting of the committee was held here under the chairmanship of Abdul Majeed Khan Khanan Khail, and was attended by MNAs Tariq Christopher

Qaiser, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Shaheen Shafiq, Dr Nafisa Shah, Junaid Akbar, Qaisar Jamal, Sheikh Salahuddin, Sher Akbar Khan, Iftikhar-ud-Din, Secretary Planning Shoaib Siddiqui and other officials from WAPDA.

The meeting was informed that dry tests would start by next month and would last until December 2017 while wet test of first unit would be performed on February 01.

First unit of the project would be inaugurated by end of February and the second unit would start its commercial operation by March and the third and fourth unit would be operationalized by April 2018.

The meeting was informed that until August 2017, an amount of Rs 358.935 billion had been spent on the project.

During the meeting, the committee also passed a resolution demanding that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) funds may evenly be allocated for the constituencies belonging to all women members on reserved seats, members of minorities and the opposition parties and discrimination against them may be eliminated.

The meeting also discussed the issue of Golan Gol hydropower project.

Sheikh Salahudin demanded that the electricity produced from first unit of the project should be transmitted to district Chitral.

The official of Power sector however pointed out that as the demand of electricity for Chitral district was only two MW therefore technically it was not possible to directly transfer the electricity produced from the project to the district.

The meeting was also informed that the project was consist of three units with installed capacity of 36 MW each and first unit of the project would be launhced in December 2017.

The Chairman of the committee constituted a sub-committee under the convener-ship of Sheikh Salahudin to resolve the matter.

Moreover, the meeting also discussed the matter of establishment of a new consultancy organization for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects parallel to National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) for creating healthy competition among consultancy firms and directed the planning ministry to submit a comprehensive report to the committee in next meeting.