Generating funds for Diamer-Bhasha Dam: Ministry mulling pledging its assets, Senate body told

January 04, 2013

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Diamer-Bhasha dam
Diamer-Bhasha dam

Ministry of Water and Power is considering pledging it’s assets for generating funds to start work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam project costing $14.5 billion.

“Multi-purpose Diamer-Bhasha Dam project is very crucial for the country and we cannot ignore it at any cost. We are considering various options to find out of box mechanism for generating funds for the project. Conventional method to gather funds seems difficult and we are considering ways and means for pledging the assets of the Ministry and float bonds,” Special Secretary of Ministry of Water and Power Himayat Ullah Khan told Senate’s Standing Committee on Water and Power.

The Committee met here with Senator Mohammad Zahid Khan in the chair at Parliament House on Thursday. Senators Khalida Parveen, Nisar Muhammad, Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Syed Raghib Abbas and others participated in the meeting.

While briefing the Committee, Chairman Wapda said that a total of 478 MW would be added to the national grid till June 2013 through hydel power generation. However, there is no chance to add more electricity to the system from 2014 to 2016 through hydel power projects. He said that during this period the projects would be under construction.

Senator Khalida Parveen while expressing grave concern over the situation said that the country would face severe electricity crisis in these years, as the demand of power would increase during the period.

To a question, Chairman Wapda said that all things (planning, feasibility studies) of Diamer-Bhasha Dam project had been completed and work could be started today if the funds were made available. He said that planning, feasibility reports and PC-1 of many hydel projects had been completed, but work could not be started due to lack of finds.

Special Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power, Himayat Ullah Khan, told the meeting that Wapda had planned and completed studies on several projects but they could start work on them due to lack of funds. He said that there was a time when Pakistan generated 70 percent of its total electricity through hydel resources and 30 percent through thermal. “While toady Pakistan is generating 70 percent of its total electricity through thermal and 30 percent through hydel,” he added.

Answering to a question, he said that 1600 MW electricity could be generated through sugar mills by using bagas every year. He said that 15 to 20 MW could be generated through one sugar mill. He said that there were 83 sugar mills in the country and they had the capacity to generate 3000 MW electricity. He said that for this purpose the ministry called a meeting and invited all stockholders including owners of the sugar mills. He said that a total of Rs 60 billion had been spent on Nelum-Jehlum Project while the government had only collected Rs 25 billion as surcharge from the electricity consumers for the project.

 

Courtesy: BR

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