USAID, WAPDA sign $78m implementation letter for Mangla refurbishment

MIRPUR: Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday signed Project Implementation Letter (PIL)-2 worth $78 million for Mangla Refurbishment Project.

The USAID grant will be spent to undertake various works of Package V, VI, VIII and IX of the project. The PIL-1 of $72 million for Mangla Refurbishment Project had already been signed between USAID and WAPDA in 2014, WAPDA sources revealed on Wednesday.

WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain and USAID Mission Leader Jerry Bisson signed the letter.

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The statement continued that in view of the ageing factor of the generating equipment and availability of additional water due to the raised Mangla Dam, WAPDA is implementing Mangla Refurbishment Project with an approved PC-I cost of Rs52.224 billion. USAID is providing $150 million as grant and AFD is providing 90 million euros as a loan for the purpose, while rest of the amount is being arranged by WAPDA through loans and from its own resources.

Mangla Refurbishment Project, upon completion, will enhance the generation capacity of the existing Mangla Hydel Power Station from 1,000MW to 1,310MW, thus registering an increase of 310MW.

The refurbishment works have been divided into 11 different packages, which will be implemented in various phases. The generating units will be refurbished by closing down one tunnel (two generating units) at a time. Refurbishment of the first two units will be completed in 2019 while the refurbishment of all 10 generating units is likely to be accomplished by 2024.

It is worth mentioning that WAPDA has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for optimal utilisation of hydropower resources. Under the strategy, WAPDA has not only initiated new hydropower projects but has also been rehabilitating and upgrading its existing hydel power stations to maximise the ratio of environment-friendly and low-cost hydel electricity in the national grid.

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