Funding has been approved by the World Bank for the installation of a new powerhouse at the Tarbela Fourth Extension Hydropower Project in Pakistan, increasing the total capacity of the project to 6298MW.

The Additional Financing of $390 million will be used to build the powerhouse in the existing Tunnel Five at the project, with the work to proceed in parallel to the ongoing work on Tunnel Four. The project also includes the laying of a 50km long transmission line for carrying additional generation at Tarbela to the national grid. 

“Increased supply at competitive prices from Tunnel Five will support economic growth for all enterprises that use electricity, regardless of size or sector”, says Illango Patchamuthu, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “In addition to reducing load shedding, it will also contribute to long term energy security.”

“In addition to maximizing the use of existing facilities and meeting the power needs of the country, the project will also introduce a pilot floating solar power plant over a part of the reservoir area,” added Masood Ahmad, Task Team Leader of the Project.  “The successful completion of the pilot and its possible expansion over the rest of the reservoir surface area could lead to an additional generation capacity of 5000 MW of solar power.”

The project will be financed from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), with a variable spread and 20 years maturity including a 6-year grace period. 

This will be the first World Bank supported project in South Asia to be jointly financed with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) who would be providing $300 million.