56 micro hydropower projects to be executed in Chitral

ISLAMABAD-To develop hydropower capacity of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 56 micro hydro power projects in Chitral’s far-off areas with combined capacity of 11.5MW will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs5 billion under the Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Board (PEDO). Director of Micro Hydro Power Projects PEDO Faisal Dawar told WealthPK that the micro hydropower projects are aimed at utilizing cheap hydropower resources, and providing more reliable and consistent electricity to the areas still deprived of electricity facility.
Some of these far-off areas didn’t have electricity facility for decades, while others are connected to the national grid, but power supply remains negligible due to frequent and prolonged outages. Streams and tributaries available in those areas are potential sources of energy, which can be best exploited by constructing micro hydropower schemes. “For Upper Chitral district, 28 projects of 5.6MW capacity will be undertaken. The procurement process for contractor hiring has been completed. The contract award is expected by June 2023,” he informed.
“For Lower Chitral district, fresh procurement process has been initiated as bids were not received for this lot during recent procurement process,” he added.
The official said a total of 11.5MW of reliable and cheap electricity for Chitral’s far-off and off-grid communities is expected to be generated from these hydro power projects. He said project management consultants have carried out pre-feasibility/site identification surveys in Chitral. As per survey outcome, initially 56 projects in Upper and Lower Chitral have been identified.
“These sites are subject to detailed technical and social feasibility studies. In case of non-feasibility of the identified sites, alternate sites would be identified,” Faisal said.
Due to scattered population of Chitral, small hydropower projects are considered the most viable solution to meet the power needs. The valley, which is in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountain range, and has many glaciers and streams, has the potential to produce 5,000MW of electricity.

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