A power purchase agreement was due to be signed in August for a 730MW hydro project in Jhelum, Pakistan, and civil works may begin by the end of next year, according to the Ministry of Water and Power.

The Jhelum project has a likely cost of around US$1B. It involves diversion of the river from a point some 5km upstream from Garhi Dupatta, through a 372m tunnel to an underground powerhouse located at Barsala.

Construction is expected to take four to five years. It will be completed under a 25-year ‘build, operate, transfer’ agreement which has been established between the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and US company Synergics Hydro Power.

The cabinet Economic Co-ordination Committee gave its agreement to the project in July.