Power production begins at Pakistan’s 969-MW Neelum Jhelum

Power generation has begun at Pakistan’s 969-MW Neelum Jhelum as the hydropower plant’s first turbine unit is now undergoing trial runs.

The Water and Power Development Authority, which owns the project, reported tests began last week, with the first of Neelum Jhelum’s four turbines producing 60 MW. Tests continued, WAPDA said, until the unit reached its full 242 MW of output capacity several days later.

Power generated by plant will be supplied to Pakistan’s National Grid, providing WAPDA with an estimated US$769 million in revenue.

The project, estimated to cost more than $4.5 billion, is part of a run-of-river scheme designed to divert water from the Neelum River to a powerhouse on the Jhelum River. The powerhouse is located in Azad Kashmir in Jammu and Kashmir.

WAPDA began filling the reservoir behind the facility’s 160-meter-long by 60-meter-high concrete gravity dam in October, after which the utility diverted water to its 52-kilometer-long headrace last month.

WAPDA is also in the midst of commissioning its 470-MW Tarbela 4 extension. Located in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, its first-of-three units went on line in February.

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