Extensions to Pakistan’s Tarbela hydropower plant receive additional funding

Tarbela Hydropower Project

The World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have partnered to provide US$690 million for the completion of Pakistan’s 1,410-MW Tarbela 5th Extension hydropower project.

The World Bank is providing $390 million of the financing and the AIIB the rest of the package, which will help Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority foot the project’s expected total cost of $823.5 million. Of the remainder, WAPDA is expected to contribute $124.5 million, while the National Transmission and Dispatch Co. (NTDC) will add $9 million.

HydroWorld.com reported in October that the Tarbela 5th Extension — then planned as a 1,300 MW addition — had received approval from Pakistan’s Central Development Working Party.

The 5th Extension is an add-on to the existing 3,480-MW Tarbela plant. The extension will use an existing irrigation tunnel extending from the original plant. Its predecessor, the 1,410-MW 4th Extension, also uses an irrigation tunnel and is currently under construction. WAPDA chair Zafar Mahmood urged completion of the 4th Extension by the end of this year

Tarbela Dam, completed in 1974, was designed to store water from the Indus River for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. 

The 148 meter high, 3,000 meter long dam has two gated spillways and five tunnels that provide irrigation releases and power generation. At the time of construction the dam tunnels 1, 2 and 3 were scheduled for power generation and tunnels 4 and 5 were designed exclusively for irrigation release.

WAPDA is also in the process of repairing and upgrading the original plant.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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