Lahore, April 03, 2015 (PPI-OT): A quarterly appraisal report was presented to the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) here today. The report pertains to availability of water in Mangla, Tarbela and Chashma reservoirs and generation of hydel electricity by the WAPDA hydel power stations during the third quarter of the current fiscal year i.e. January – March 2015.
The Authority expressed its satisfaction that 2.75 million acre feet (MAF) of water is available in the reservoirs at the end of the quarter, which is more than the last year and the average of the last ten years. Last year 1.986 MAF of water was available in the reservoirs during the corresponding period, while the average availability of water during the same period of last ten years was 0.693 MAF.
Resultantly, more water is available for the provinces for sowing during the current year. The increased water availability will boost agriculture and contribute to economic growth. It was noted in the meeting that increased water availability during the third quarter is due to more rainfall and additional water stored by raised Mangla Dam.
The meeting noted that as many as 4.012 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity were delivered to the national grid by the WAPDA hydel power stations during the third quarter of the fiscal year 2014-15 against 4.41 billion units generated during the same period of last year.
Despite more availability of water in the reservoirs, the hydel power stations generated slightly less electricity because of the less water indents placed by the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) due to more than average rains in February and March 2015 in the country thereby reducing water requirements from the dams for irrigation. However, the additional water available in reservoirs will add to electricity generation during the peak summer in the last quarter of the fiscal year, the meeting observed.
It is pertinent to mention that the basic purpose of dams is to provide water for agriculture on the requirements of the provinces, whereas hydel electricity is their bi-product. The existing hydel power stations depend upon water indents of IRSA for electricity generation. The meeting noted that there is a misperception among the people that in case of more rainfall, more water flows into the dams and consequently more electricity should be generated.
The situation necessitates that more run-of-the-river hydropower projects are constructed, which can generate more electricity throughout the year as they do not depend on indents of IRSA. In order to make the best use of available water, WAPDA needs to construct more run-of-the-river projects such as Dasu, Bunji, Thakot and Pattan.
The meeting was apprised that the hydel power generation capacity of WAPDA stands at about 7000 megawatt (MW) – about one third of the total installed capacity in the country. The meeting expressed the satisfaction that despite some of hydel power stations being as old as 50 years, the generation capacity of WAPDA has stayed intact due to proper maintenance and efficient operation of these stations.
The meeting noted that WAPDA contributes more than 30 billion units of low-cost electricity to the national grid per annum. The role being played by hydel electricity in keeping the power tariff at present level can be measured from the fact that according to data of January 2015, per unit generation cost of hydel electricity is merely Rs. 2.62 on an average as compared to Rs.7.43 for gas, Rs.12.91 for coal, Rs.12.98 for baggase, Rs.17.58 for furnace oil, Rs.23.43 for diesel (HSD), Rs. 5.98 for nuclear and Rs.11.62 for wind. As per data the basket price of electricity in the system stands at Rs.10.03 per unit.
For more information, contact:
Muhammad Abid Rana
Director Public Relations
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
G-32, WAPDA House, Lahore