The outgoing year 2019-20 proved to be a historic for hydel power generation in Pakistan, as WAPDA provided highest ever number of hydel electricity i.e. 37.4 billion units to the National Grid.
This increased hydel power generation became possible due to improved hydrological conditions and effective operation and maintenance of WAPDA hydel power stations despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Had these 6.23 billion additional units been generated through thermal source, the national exchequer would have to bear the brunt of Rs87.22 billion.
Furthermore, WAPDA hydel power generation during fiscal year 2019-20 registered an increase of 6.23 billion units if compared with that of fiscal year 2018-19.
Previous record of hydel generation in a fiscal year was 33.15 billion units that was set way back in 2015-16. The surged hydel generation in 2019-20 not only helped the country overcome power shortages but also stabilize the power tariff.
According to data of WAPDA hydel power generation in 2019-20, Tarbela Hydel Power Station provided 11.92 billion units, Tarbela 4thExtension 5.49 billion units, Ghazi Barotha 6.55 billion units, Mangla 4.69 billion units, and Neelum-Jhelum Hydel Power Station generated 4.84 billion units. While, rest of the generation – 3.91billion units – was contributed by other hydel power stations of WAPDA.
At present, WAPDA owns and operates 22 hydel power stations, including Neelum Jhelum with cumulative installed generation capacity of 9389 Mega Watt (MW). WAPDA is well on its way and work on three mega projects including Diamer Basha Dam, Dasu Hydropower Project and Mohmand Dam is under way, adding 9500 MW on their commissioning.