Time to tap KP’s 30,000MW hydropower potential for growth

 Naturally blessed with enormous hydropower resources, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a unique province where 30,000 megawatt (MW) of hydropower potential has been identified that could easily meet the energy demands of domestic, agriculture and industrial sectors besides making Pakistan energy surplus.

Out of 30,000mw hydropower potential identified by the KP Energy Department, only 6,000mw (33,000 Gigawatt hours (GWh) having generation cost of Rs63 billion) has been generated so far and approximately 10,000mw is in different stages of implementation with potential to generate about Rs100 billion revenue annually whereas 14,000mw still remain untapped due to which the country is facing problem of load-shedding.

Muhammad Zubair Khan, Secretary Energy and Power KP, said, “Currently the province contributes about 2,800mw to national grid, adding the energy demand of the province stands at 1,800mw and we are currently facing a shortfall of 500mw.” 

He says if the due share of 1000mw is provided to KP the load-shedding issue could be addressed as well as the province would become self-sufficient in meeting the domestic, agricultural and industrial demands.

The Secretary said that unfortunately KP could not realise its full economic and industrial potential, which should be estimated 16pc as compared to other province, mainly due to its geographic location. He said the KP government was determined to offset this locational disadvantage by expeditious development of energy resources and providing inexpensive electricity and gas to industrial sector to keep the economic and industrial wheel moving fast.

To revive the economy, increase revenue generation and create employment opportunities, he said, the KP government had undertaken key initiatives including institutional and policy reforms, safeguarding provincial rights, ensuring commercial and financial stability, mainstreaming of merged areas and development of oil and gas sector in last two years in the province, yielding positive results.

We have introduced first-ever successful Auction and Wheeling of Power Model for 18mw Pehur hydroelectric station on June 5, 2020 to supply cheap electricity at strike price rate of Rs7.5 per kwh to five industrial consumers to offset the locational disadvantage faced by industrial sector of KP,” he said. 

Zubair Khan said work on 496mw Lower Spat Gah HHP had been initiated under Public Private Partnership (PPP) with assistance of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) whereas International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organisation of World Bank Group, had been engaged for transaction advisory services to help assist Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) for arranging necessary financing for development of HPPs under PPP mode.

Similarly, 300mw Balakot HPP worth Rs88 billion started with collaboration of Asian Development Bank (ADB) was at advanced stage of implementation and was expected to generate Rs1.3billion revenue per year besides creating 1,000 direct jobs for youth, he said

Two HPPs namely 88mw Gabral Kalam and 157mw Madyn in Swat were being executed with the assistance of World Bank costing Rs142 billion, he said adding World Bank would provide US $450 million while KP government would contribute US $151 million besides US $185 million to be arranged through commercial financing would be raised by World Bank. “It is expected that Rs10 billion revenue would be generated from these two mega projects besides feasibility studies for 10 HPP sites would also be conducted.”

Similarly, construction work on 10.5mw Chapri Charkhel HPP in Kurram district worth Rs4.378 billion having generation capacity of 73.56GHW and Rs838.41 million annual revenue, have been started besides mini macro schemes worth Rs838 million having about 3,000kw generation capacity in merged districts are in various stages of implementation.  

The Secretary said KP Govt was also engaged with UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) through Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Programme (SEEDP) under which technical assistance would be provided for innovative financial solutions, energy business plan, auction and wheeling management and transaction advisory services to IPP projects besides resolving tariff issues.

Malik Luquman, Chief Planning Officer (CPO), Energy and Power Department, said that Prime Minister’s Access to Clean Energy Investment Program (PM ACENIP)’ worth Rs18 billion had been initiated with financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) under which 1,028 mini macro HPPs were being constructed in two phases in northern districts of the province. 

PM ACENIP’s Phase-I would be completed in the current financial year wherein out of 332 mini macro power projects of about 32mw capacity as announced by PM Imran Khan as Chairman PTI in 2014, he said, 311 such projects were completed so far and the rest would be completed by June this year.

Work on Phase-II to construct 672 mini macro HHP having capacity 53mw has already been initiated that will be completed by 2023. Under PM ACENIP, he said, a project costing Rs4347 million having 12 MW capacity was launched with assistance of ADB for solarisation of 8,000 schools and 187 BHUs in the province. 

The aggregate power generation capacity of these solorisation schemes was 2.85mw with accumulative savings of 5.6 million energy units per year with Rs88 million annual savings.  Civil and Chief Minister Secretariats and CM KP House were converted to solar energy through net metering mechanism besides solarisation of 5,700 households and 300 masajid in the province. 

Himayatullah Khan Mayar, Advisor to the KP Chief Minister for Energy and Power, said 18 projects had been approved for merged areas where up-gradation and installation of feeders, rehabilitation of grid stations and installation of transformers in industrial zones would be achieved with Rs6.8 billion cost to address problem of load-shedding and facilitate industrial units manifolds.

With completion of these projects, he said, overloading on 11kv lines, 132kv transmission lines and grid stations would be significantly reduced and electrification facilities to additional 18pc population of merged areas would be provided.

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