The Suki Kinari hydropower Project has reached a significant milestone with the completion of the first stage of reservoir impoundment in March 2024. The 884 MW project, situated in the Kaghan Valley in Pakistan, continues to advance with the second stage of impoundment initiated in May 2024.

The project team will undertake a comprehensive flushing, cleaning, and inspection of the headrace tunnel. This will precede a critical first filling test aimed at detecting any potential leakage, abnormalities, and ensuring compliance with design specifications. The methodical filling and discharging of the hydraulic pressure tunnel will be conducted in stages, taking into account factors such as water head, rock conditions, and tunnel characteristics.

The headrace tunnel, a key component of the project, spans 23.13km with an inner diameter of 6.3m. It is designed to handle a discharge of 114.6m3/sec, with a maximum capacity of 126.06 m3/sec. The filling of the headrace tunnel and surge shaft will require approximately 771,000 cubic meters of water.

At the heart of the Suki Kinari project are four Pelton turbine generators, each with a capacity of 221MW, collectively contributing to the total capacity of 884MW. The hydropower plant boasts a maximum net head of 922.72m and a minimum head of 845.76m, with an expected average annual generation of 3.129 billion kWh.

The reservoir’s operating parameters are set with a maximum level of 2233m and a minimum level of 2223m, holding a storage capacity of 10.37 million m3 below the minimum operating level. The project also features an underground powerhouse located approximately 400m deep and a tailrace tunnel extending about 1583m.

The project team aims to bring the first unit into commercial operation by July 2024,

Source: All information and photographs courtesy Masab Ali