ISLAMABAD: The run-of-river Patrind hydropower project, which has now completed its first year of commissioning, is facing issues to evacuate electricity to the national grid, as the National Transmission Distribution Company (NTDC) is yet to lay transmission from power house to the main grid station in Mansehra.
The 147MW Patrind hydropower project, located on the boundary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, could produce only 480GWh against the annual target of 632GWh since it went into commercial operation in November last year.
Due to the lack of direct transmission circuit, the national exchequer is facing loss of millions of rupees. The project is currently shut down mode for two months (December-January) for carrying out maintenance work.
The Patrind project was completed in four years, starting in 2012, at a cost of $436 million. The ADB provided assistance of $97m and it was constructed on build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of thirty years from the commercial operation date.
Five more run-of-river hydropower projects, originating from Kaghan, are: Suki Kinari, a CPEC-merged project, Balakot hydropower, Neelum-Jhelum, Kohala, Gulpur and New Bong.
The Patrind hydropower station is currently under-performing due to weak transmission network through Muzaf¬¬farabad-Hattian-Mangla-Jheum-Rawat — a long circuit that trips frequently due to weak circuit, Habibur Rehman Khan, a project engineer, explained.
He said that the closest inter-connection of Patrind will be Muzaffarabad-Mansehra-Abbottabad-Islamabad circuit and there will be no circuit in between without causing tripping. The Hattian network is quite old and complex and not suitable for evacuating power from Patrind, he added.
To evacuate electricity, NTDC intends to lay 132kV transmission line, using rail conductor of 45km from Patrind project to Mansehra new 132kV grid station in the first phase. One of these circuits would be direct while the other would be looped in and out at Balakot 132kV substation, with Patrind-Balakot 32km long and Balakot-Mansehra 23km.
Patrind hydropower project is one of the two power projects set up by the ‘Korea Water Resources Corpora¬tion’. The second one will be 102MW Gulpur power project.