Last year saw record generation of hydropower in Pakistan, with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) branding 2019 a historic year for development of water and hydropower resources in the country.
The hydropower stations owned and operated by WAPDA provided 34.678 billion units of hydroelectricity to the system in 2019 – its highest-ever contribution. This quantum of generation is 6.321 billion units more if compared with that of 2018, which produced 28.357 billion units. The optimal operation of three hydropower projects, completed in a phased manner, generated 9.372 billion units cumulatively during their operation in 2019. This includes 4.741 billion units from Tarbela 4th Extension hydropower project, as many as 4.519 billion units from Neelum-Jhelum and 0.111 billion units from Golen Gol. The rest of the generation was contributed by other hydropower stations including Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha and Mangla.
In addition to record hydroelectricity generation in 2019, WAPDA also succeeded in achieving vital targets for construction of large dams to avert the looming water crisis in the country. Construction of Mohmand Dam commenced in May, marking the first construction of a multi-purpose dam for 51 years, with the last being Tarbela Dam that began construction in 1968. Also, the evaluation of bids for consultancy services as well as construction works of the Diamer Basha Dam are almost complete, with construction expected to start in the next two months.
In another significant development, the Sindh Barrage Project was also approved in 2019 to address water-related issues downstream of Kotri Barrage.