The World Bank and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) are planning to start the Tarbela fifth extension hydroelectric power project.
The World Bank is confident that the project will see completion by 2023. The global lender has decided to move forward to the next phase of its renewable energy plan for Pakistan after the successful completion of the fourth extension project which has a capacity of 1410 megawatts.
It maintains that the fifth extension project will go operational in four years while contributing an additional revenue worth $200 million for WAPDA every year.
The World Bank has recently ended its Pakistan mission meeting in which its team appreciated WAPDA’s work.
“The Tarbela fourth extension was one of the rare projects completed on time and below cost. It will add 3,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity annually worth about $350 million and save foreign exchange,” said the World Bank’s team.
Completing a hydroelectric power project in lower than expected cost and within the estimated cost is a significant milestone. The global statistics show that such projects show an average of 90 percent cost overrun and 70 percent delay in project’s estimated time for completion.
Apart from the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) also reaffirmed its commitment to the Tarbela fifth extension.
In its report for 2019, AIIB’s Head of Communication said, “Our focus will remain on projects that can be carried out on a sound economic basis and contribute towards Pakistan’s long-term economic development.”
Tarbela fifth extension is expected to enhance Tarbela’s capacity from 4,888 MW to 6,298 MW. With the increased capacity, the Tarbela project will be among the top 10 hydroelectric power stations in the world.