Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 9 (ANI): Pakistan's most important project with the capacity to generate 2,160 MW of hydel electricity, which got delayed by three years, has been hit by a cost overrun of upto 100 billion Pakistani rupees.

Dasu hydropower project, which was slated to be completed in 2023-24 is now to be commissioned in 2026-27, The News International reported, citing a top official of the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

The top WAPDA official revealed that a terrorist attack that took place in July last year on a bus of Chinese contractor staff caused a complete suspension of work for almost four months. The official said the halted work resumed on October 25, 2021, but in a phased manner. It is now expected to get fully mobilized during the first half of 2022, the report said.

"The failure in land acquisition, Covid pandemic, and the terrorist attack on a bus carrying Chinese officials at the site of the project have caused the delay for three years," the WAPDA official said.

Pakistan's Water and Resources Ministry confirmed the development to the Pakistani publication and said the project has been delayed by three years. "The water and resources ministry and Wapda will soon submit to the Planning Commission the revised PC-1 of the project for cost overruns for approval by CDWP and ECNEC," he said.

Back in 2014, the project was approved with a cost of PKR 586 billion.

"The World Bank has also provided funding, which is equal to 20 per cent of the total cost. Now under the new scenario, the cost overrun during three years is feared to increase by PKR 100 billion. This will cause an increase in the cost of the project to almost PKR 686 billion," he said.

The report said WAPDA hydroelectric company has sought an extension in COD for three years till 2026-27 from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in its petition with the regulator. (ANI)

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