December 28, 2017: The 969 Mega Watt (MW)-Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project – a hydel power generating scheme of strategic importance – is in final stage of completion, as most of the major milestones which were required to be completed prior to commissioning of the project, have successfully been achieved. These milestones included completion of Dam and start of water filling in the reservoir, completion of water way system comprising 51.5-kilometre long tunnels, installation of turbines, generators, transformers and other electro-mechanical equipment in the powerhouse, the switchyard, and dry testing of electro-mechanical equipment. The transmission line by NTDC is expected to be completed by end of this month, while water filling (pressurization) of water way system will commence during first week of January 2018. In the first phase, water filling (pressurization) will commence from tail end.
In this back drop, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Lieutenant General Muzammil Hussain (Retd) visited Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project. During the 2-day visit, the Chairman reviewed construction work on dam site, head race tunnel, underground power house and tail race tunnel.
While reviewing construction activities on the various sites of the project, WAPDA Chairman said that the ongoing dry tests of electrical and mechanical installations and pressurization (water filling) of the tail race tunnel are of paramount importance. With this in view, the laid down parameters relating to the safety of the project be taken into account in such a manner that pace of work is not compromised. He reiterated that WAPDA is committed to completing Neelum Jhelum and other under-contraction hydropower projects in the shortest possible time. The Chairman said that it is a matter of satisfaction that the long-awaited Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is getting ready for generation after inordinate delay spread over years.
The Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project is being constructed on river Neelum in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The project is an engineering marvel with 90 percent of the project being underground in the high mountain areas. The project consists of four units with installed capacity of 969-MW. The first unit of the project is scheduled to go into operation by early March 2018 followed by the second third and fourth units at one month interval respectively. On its completion, the project will contribute about five billion units of electricity to the national grid annually with over Rs. 50 billion revenue injection in the national exchequer.