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Pakistan signs deal to construct US$698.3 million Sharmai hydropower project

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Pakistan is moving forward with hydropower development in its northwestern-most province, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), located in the district of Dir near Afghanistan’s eastern border, according the government of KP.

KP made the announcement on July 23 after Pakistan Chief Minister Pervez Khattak signed an agreement between Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) and a consortium of Sinohydro and Lahore-based Sapphire Electric Co. for construction of the 150-MW Sharmai hydropower project.

PEDO Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Ayub, said the project is expected to be completed in five years at an estimated cost of US$698.3 million. But, he did not provide any information on the project’s start date.

Information from KP indicates the Sharmai hydro project will include a dam and reservoir, and the powerhouse will be located near Darora village and on the confluence of Usherai Khwar Stream and Panjkora River.

Additional technical information for the project includes the following:

  • Net head – 196.6 m; 
  • Annual energy generation – 682 GWh; 
  • Reservoir capacity – 32.2 million cubic meters; 
  • Length of power tunnel – 7.8 km; and 
  • Catchment area – 1,950 km2.

The Sharmai hydro project continues the country’s recent trend towards massive planned infrastructure improvements.

Pakistan and French Agency for Development on July 20 signed US$192 million in soft loan agreements to improve Pakistan’s energy sector, including rehabilitating the 1,000-MW Mangla hydropower project, according to the government of Pakistan.

The Mangla hydropower project is a multipurpose facility located on the Jhelum River in Mirpur district of Azad Kashmir. It includes Mangla Dam, which is the seventh largest dam in the world; the country’s largest reservoir, which has a live storage capacity of 7.48 million acre feet; and 10 generating units.

Earlier this year, China and Pakistan signed a US$50 billion memorandum of understanding on May 13 to develop and complete the Indus River Cascade, according to information from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The planned cascade includes the 4,500-MW Diamer-Basha project, which is already being constructed and four additional projects being developed: 2,400-MW Patan; 4,000-MW Thakot; 7,100-MW Bunji; and 4,320-MW Dasu.

In 2016, HydroWorld.com reported KP's hydroelectric power development fund approved the 84-MW Matiltan, 69-MW Daral Khwar, 69-MW Lawi, 40.8-MW Koto and 10.2-MW Jabori plants – all of which are currently in development.  In addition, feasibility studies are being conducted for the 446-MW Kari Mushkar, 410-MW Tor Camp Godobar and 110-MW Gabral Kalam.

Ayub also said seven additional hydropower projects with a total combined installed capacity of 668 MW would be initiated through private sector that would bring $2 billion investment in the province, according to government information. 

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