Wapda hy­del power sta­tions de­liver 33.145b units in 2015-16

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH -

Cur­rency Sell­ing Buy­ing

OB­SERVER RE­PORT IS­LAM­ABAD—The Wa­ter and Power De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (WAPDA) hy­del power sta­tions de­liv­ered as many as 33.154 bil­lion units of low-cost hy­del elec­tric­ity to the Na­tional Grid in the fis­cal year 2015-16. This is the high­est-ever gen­er­a­tion from hy­del source in Pak­istan. Pre­vi­ous max­i­mum hy­del gen­er­a­tion was 31.5 bil­lion units which was recorded dur­ing 2014-15. Ac­cord­ing to the sta­tis­tics, hy­del elec­tric­ity de­liv­ered to the Na­tional Grid by WAPDA dur­ing FY 2016 reg­is­tered an in­crease of 1600 mil­lion units if com­pared with elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated in FY 2015, thus, reg­is­ter­ing 5 per cent in­crease.

This ad­di­tional con­tri­bu­tion of hy­del elec­tric­ity to the Na­tional Grid not only helped min­i­mize load­shed­ding in the coun­try but also lower power tar­iff. In ad­di­tion to the in­creased wa­ter re­leases from Tar­bela and Mangla reser­voirs on the in­dent of IRSA, ef­fec­tive op­er­a­tion and con­sis­tent main­te­nance of the hy­del power sta­tions are the main con­tribut­ing fac­tors be­hind this record hy­del gen­er­a­tion. It is worth men­tion­ing that hy­dropower is the cheap­est, clean­est and en­vi­ron­ment-friendly source of elec­tric­ity, which plays a piv­otal role to sta­bilise elec­tric­ity tar­iff in the coun­try.

Ac­cord­ing to the data of Cen­tral Power Pur­chas­ing Agency (CPPA) re­gard­ing per unit cost of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from var­i­ous sources in March 2016, it is Rs1.94 for hy­del, which is far less than per unit cost of elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated from all other sources. In com­par­i­son to hy­del elec­tric­ity, it is Rs8.71 per unit for gas, Rs11.41 for resid­ual fur­nace oil (RFO), Rs18.60 for high speed diesel (HSD), Rs8.98 from IPPs, Rs12.13 for coal, Rs7.27 for nu­clear, Rs16.37 for wind, Rs11.90 for bagasse, Rs22.03 for so­lar, and Rs10.53 per unit for elec­tric­ity im­ported from Iran.

At present, WAPDA owns as many as 19 hy­del power sta­tions with cu­mu­la­tive gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity of 6902 me­gawatt (MW), which is about one third of the to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity in Pak­istan. Hy­dro­elec­tric plants, the world over, have av­er­age life span of 30 to 35 years, but WAPDA still successfully op­er­ates its hy­del power sta­tions, ma­jor­ity of which are far older than their mean av­er­age life. De­spite ag­ing fac­tor, WAPDA hy­del power sta­tions are still ca­pa­ble to be run at their max­i­mum gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­i­ties.

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