US to provide $150m for Mangla Power House upgradation

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LAHORE: The United States of America will provide $150 million to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) for the upgradation of Mangla Power House, said US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson during his visit to the Mangla Dam and Power House on Wednesday. “The US government’s assistance helped build Mangla Dam,” said Olson. “Now, nearly 50 years later, the US is helping to repair the Mangla Power House to make sure it continues to produce the energy this country needs.”

He added that their commitment to help repair the Mangla Power House today had been was based on efforts that began in the 1960s.

“The US was then, as it is now, committed to work with the government of Pakistan on large-scale energy projects that help the people of Pakistan live secure and prosperous lives,” he stated.

The project to upgrade the Mangla Power House is just one element of a comprehensive US energy assistance programme in Pakistan, which includes renovating the power plant at Tarbela, upgrading Guddu, Jamshoro and Muzaffar Garh power plants, and completing the construction of Satpara and Gomal Zam Dams.

Wapda Chairman Raghib Shah said that Wapda has initiated the upgradation project of Mangla Power House to enhance its generation capacity to 1,310 MW from the existing 1,000 MW. “This upgradation is part of the two-pronged strategy aimed at optimal utilisation of the indigenous hydropower resources,” he said. “In addition to constructing new projects, Wapda is also rehabilitating and upgrading its aging power houses under the strategy.”

Speaking about the support provided by the US in the implementation of various Wapda projects, Wapda chairman said that Wapda highly values this assistance. “The commencement of the Mangla Power House upgradation is yet another milestone in US-Pak cooperation for energy sector’s development,” he said. He expressed the hope that this cooperation will further strengthen in the days to come.

The US ambassador was briefed about the Mangla Dam – the first-ever mega multipurpose project in Pakistan comprising water storage and four power generating units of 100 MW each – was completed in 1967 with the financial assistance of friendly countries, including the US.

Subsequently, units five and six were installed at the power house in 1974 and units seven and eight in 1981. The Mangla Power House attained its maximum capacity, i.e. 1,000 MW, in 1994 with the addition of units nine and 10.

Since its commissioning, the power house has contributed more than 200 billion units of low-cost electricity to the national grid. The aging factor of the generating equipment and availability of additional water due to the raised Mangla Dam necessitated the refurbishment and upgradation of Mangla Power House, which is currently underway and will be completed in phases with an estimated cost of $400 million.

Courtesy: the News

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