The year 2020 proved to be an exceptional year for the water and hydropower sectors of Pakistan. The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) succeeded in achieving significant milestones in the water and hydropower sectors this year.
Besides generating the highest-ever low-cost hydel electricity, WAPDA also initiated construction work on the long-delayed multi-purpose Diamer Basha Dam Project in 2020.
As per the details, WAPDA hydel generation continued to surge during 2020 too. As many as 22 hydel power stations owned and operated by WAPDA across the country generated 38.3 billion units, which is the highest-ever generation in a year.
This record generation includes 12.08 billion units from Tarbela, 4.98 billion units from Tarbela 4th Extension, 6.48 billion units from Ghazi Barotha, 5.76 billion units from Mangla, 4.93 billion units from Neelum Jhelum, and 4.07 billion units from the rest of the hydel power stations.
WAPDA generated additional 3.8 billion units through hydel in 2020 compared to 2019, benefitting the country with about Rs. 53.2 billion. If a thermal source had produced this electricity, it would have cost Rs 53.2 billion to the national exchequer.
Tackling the obstacles in the implementation of the project, WAPDA started the construction of Diamer Basha Dam in July this year. The Dam is a vital project for water, food, and energy security of the country with gross water storage of 8.1 million acre-feet (MAF), live water storage of 6.4 MAF, and power generation of 4,500 megawatts (MW).