Wapda chief hopes Saudi Fund will enhance aid
Chairman Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Syed Raghib Abbas Shah has said that the government highly value the financial assistance provided by the Saudi Fund for Development for Golen Gol Hydropower Project, and hoped that the financial assistance by the Fund will be further enhanced for completion of the project. This support is result of the present government's efforts and good brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia.
He was talking to a three-member delegation of the Saudi Fund for Development, led by Chief Engineer Abdullah Al-Shoaibi, who visited the 106-MW Golen Gol Hydropower Project, being constructed by the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) in district Chitral of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is pertinent to mention that the Saudi Fund for Development is providing financial assistance amounting to US $40 million for civil works of Golen Gol Hydropower Project. The Saudi Fund for Development delegation is in Pakistan nowadays to witness progress on the project. During their visit, the Fund announced provision of additional US $57 million for the project.
In this regard, the negotiations will be held in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh next month, following which a formal agreement would be singed for provision of these additional funds. The delegation along with Wapda Chairman has a detailed round of the site and witnessed the construction activities at weir (dam), head race channel, sand trap, head race tunnel, pressure tunnel, pressure shaft, surge chamber, and power house area.
The delegation expressed hope that the project will be completed according to the schedule. Earlier, the delegation told that 47 per cent of the civil works have been completed, with a view to complete the project by August 2015. Golen Project is a part of least-cost energy generation plan of government, being executed by Wapda on priority basis to harness the indigenous hydropower resources of the country to improve the ratio of hydel electricity in the National Grid, help reduce electricity tariff and provide relief to the consumers.
Golen Gol Hydropower Project is located on the River Golen Gol, a major tributary of the River Mastuj in Chitral. On its completion, the project will contribute about 436 million units of electricity to the system. Being an environment friendly hydropower project, it will help reduce dependence on expensive thermal power, thereby saving foreign exchange amounting to US $34 million per annum, required for generating the equal quantum of electricity through imported furnace oil. In addition to help mitigate power shortages in the country, Golen Gol Project will also play a significant role in the backward areas of KP, as the remote areas of Chitral, Dir and Timar Garah will be connected to the National Grid