WAPDA’s draft policy on hydro projects issued

LAHORE: (APP) WAPDA’s draft policy on hydro projects issued


On the directives of the Ministry of Water and Power, the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) on Tuesday organised a consultative session about WAPDA's Draft Policy for Mega Hydel Power Projects for all stakeholders.


The session presided over by WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mehmood was participated by the representatives of the Ministry of Water and Power, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA). WAPDA Member (Water) and Member (Finance) also attended the session.


Elaborating the background of WAPDA's Draft Policy for Mega Hydel Power Projects, WAPDA Chairman said that harnessing the hydel power potential requires huge financial resources, therefore, the developing countries including Pakistan, which have the enormous hydropower resources, have not been able to tap their potential.


With this in view, WAPDA has devised a Draft Policy encompassing innovative options to raise funds from the public sector the world over to construct mega hydropower projects.


The Draft Policy was circulated to the stakeholders on the directives of  Ministry of Water and Power to have their input incorporated in the policy prior to placing it before the relevant forum for approval, he further said.


The Chairman thanked the delegates for their active participation in the session. He assured them that their suggestions would be duly included in the Draft Policy to make it a valuable document.


Apprising the participants of the history for developing hydropower projects in Pakistan including Warsak, Mangla and Tarbela, the Chairman said that generation of hydel electricity in the country was linked to the water storage.


There is a shift in this paradigm and now run-of-the-river projects have also been focused to generate electricity, the 4320 MW-Dasu Hydropower Project being one of them.


The World Bank is partly funding this project, while rest of the funds are being arranged by WAPDA from its own resources. WAPDA has tested its borrowing capacity in case of Dasu, results of which are very encouraging.


The Habib Bank-led consortium of local banks and WAPDA are negotiating the record Rs.144 billion loan, while foreign financial institutions have also indicated to provide about US$ 800 million for the project.


Innovative financial arrangements of Dasu Project will prove to be the harbinger of the new financial models, he further said.


Explaining the difference among the existing policy frame works and WAPDA's Draft Policy for Mega Hydel Power Projects, the Chairman said that this policy will facilitate the private sector to invest in the hydropower sector through International Competitive Bidding in a transparent manner.


Later, WAPDA Member (Finance) gave a detailed and salient features of WAPDA's Draft Policy for Mega Hydel Power Projects.