Baseload, Hydropower

Pakistan Awards US$1.4 Billion Contract for 720-MW Karot Hydroelectric Project on Jhelum River

Pakistan’s Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that it has awarded a US$1.4 billion contract for development of the 720-MW Karot hydroelectric project on the Jhelum River in the Rawalpindi district of Pakistan, to a group of Pakistani and Chinese investors that includes China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Ltd. (CTGC).

Published information indicates 93% of the project’s funding is through CTGC and the remaining 7% from Pakistan-based Associated Technologies (Private) Ltd. The National Transmission and Dispatch Company Ltd. (NTDC) of Pakistan plan to complete the project by 2020.

Karot Power Co. (Private) Ltd. will operate the run-of-river hydroelectric power plant, which includes an underground powerhouse that will generate electricity from four 183-MW Francis turbine units. The powerhouse will be located in the province of Punjab and the Karot Dam, a concrete gravity dam, will be built on the Jhelum River.

Initially, Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) planned the scheme, but the project was privatized and taken over by the Private Power Infrastructure Board (PPIB), which then subsequently granted operation responsibility to Karot Power Co. (Private) Ltd.

PPIB has authority to “handle” the operation of 12 hydroelectric power projects in Pakistan, according to the agency.

PPIB said the project is expected to generate 3,436 GWh annually and connect to the government-owned National Grid of Pakistan, which is operated by WAPDA. WAPDA has a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement with NTDC.

According to Pakistan’s 2002 Power Generation Policy, private sector-developed hydroelectric projects must be developed on the basis of Build-Own-Operate-Transfer. In this case, NTDC must transfer to the government of Pakistan, free of charge, the Karot hydroelectric project after operating it for 30 years.