Tarbela Dam’s fourth extension project: contract to be awarded in March

MUSHTAQ GHUMMAN

Estimated cost of $935 million

October 20, 2012: The contract for Tarbela Dam’s fourth extension project will be awarded by March 31 next year, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) announced on Friday. The project will be constructed at an estimated cost of $935 million. Wapda has already arranged the finances required for the project through the World Bank. “We are in the process to complete prequalification after which the project will be awarded. The project would generate additional 1410 MW cheap hydel power,” sources said.

On completion, Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project will provide about 3.84 billion units of low-cost electricity to the National Grid per annum. This was disclosed by Chairman Wapda, Syed Raghab Abbas Shah while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power, presided over by Senator Zahid Khan.

Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at about Rs 30.7 billion. The project will pay back its cost in just three years and will also be instrumental in saving foreign exchange on import of almost one million tons of furnace oil annually, required for equivalent generation of electricity from thermal sources.

Senate Standing Committee deferred discussion on the steps taken by the Water and Power Ministry regarding discontinuation of extension given to officers/ staff by Discos/ NTDC due to absence of Minister for Water and Power, Ahmad Mukhtar and Secretary Water and Power, Nargis Sethi. Senate members were furious at both the Minister and Secretary for not attending the meeting.

On the advice of Minister for Political Affairs Maula Bux Chandio, the committee decided to write a letter to the Ministry of Water and Power and warn that in future the committee would recommend action against the Minister and Secretary in case they do not attend the meeting. Chandio also suggested that the committee should bring issues of other provinces on the agenda.

The Chairman Wapda agreed to a hand over of civil work of 83 Kurram Tangi Dam-multiple purposes to Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK) after formal consultations with USAID and other stakeholders. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Secretary informed the meeting that the law and order situation in North Waziristan was a source of concern and hence it would be preferable for Wapda to hand over the responsibility of land procurement and civil works to the provincial government.

“We have constructed roads in tribal areas and sometimes the demands of tribal are unjustified. So let us assign this responsibility,” Provincial Secretary added. Zahid Khan argued that the government had allocated Rs 100 million for the project in PSDP 2012-13 which was raised to Rs 500 million later on after his meeting with the Prime Minister.

Chairman of the Standing Committee Zahid Khan gave two weeks to Wapda and provincial government for the finalisation of a roadmap. He also directed them to submit the roadmap before the committee before the next meeting scheduled to be held on November 5-6. Around 210 acres have so far been acquired and Rs 17.0 million has been paid to DCO/DOR Bannu. EOI for pre-qualification of contractors was received on February 28, 2011 and five firms/Joint Ventures submitted the EOI documents. Three firms pre-qualified (M/s. Descon, M/s. Sambu – Sarco JV and M/s. FWO – Limak JV) for participation in the tendering process.

Contract agreement for supervision consultancy was signed on November 17 last year at Governor House, Peshawar. Letter of commencement was issued to consultants on December 12, 2011 and mobilisation advance amounting to Rs 48 million was paid to the consultants on January 27 this year. Consultants have fielded their design team and undertaken review of design and tender documents. The revised PC-1 amounting to Rs 59.561 billion is with Planning Commission for arranging ECNEC approval.

The committee also discussed position of Malakand-III and expressed dissatisfaction over the progress. However, the committee was assured that the project will give full generation from January onwards. One of the committee members Senator Mohammad, who is holding an inquiry into the matter of Jabban hydropower project, stated that he has not been given required documents by the officials. The Chairman Wapda assured the committee that those officials who did not cooperate with the Senator will face disciplinary action and a report will be submitted to the committee secretariat very soon.

 

 

Courtesy: BR

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