Lahore – May 4,2016: The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) hydel power stations delivered as many as 2.314 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid in April 2016. This is the highest-ever generation of hydel electricity generated during the month of April so far.
According to the statistics, hydel electricity delivered to the National Grid during April 2016 registered an increase of 912 million units if compared with 1.402 billion units of hydel electricity generated in April last year, thus, showing 39.4 per cent increase. This additional contribution of hydel electricity to the National Grid by WAPDA not only helped minimize loadshedding in the country during April but also lower power tariff. In addition to the increased water releases from Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma reservoirs on the indent of IRSA, effective operation and consistent maintenance of the hydel power stations are the main contributing factors behind this record hydel generation.
It is worth mentioning that WAPDA delivers more than 31 billion units of hydel electricity to the National Grid every year on the average. Hydel is the cheapest, cleanest and environment-friendly source of electricity generation, which plays a pivotal role to stabilise electricity tariff in the country. According to the data of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) regarding per unit cost of electricity generated from various sources in February 2016, it is Rs.1.83 for hydel, which is far lower than per unit cost of electricity generated form all other sources. In comparison to hydel electricity, it is Rs. 8.16 per unit for gas, Rs.11.67 for residual furnace oil (RFO), Rs.18.62 for high speed diesel (HSD), Rs. 9.01 from IPPs, Rs.12.16 for coal, Rs.7.53 for nuclear, Rs.14.40 for wind, Rs.11.79 for bio-gases, Rs. 22.55 for solar, and Rs. 10.50 per unit for electricity imported from Iran.
At present, WAPDA owns as many as 19 hydel power stations with cumulative generation capacity 6902 megawatt (MW), which is about one third of the total installed capacity in Pakistan. Hydroelectric equipment, the world over, has a normal life span of 30 to 35 years on the average, but WAPDA still successfully operates its hydel power stations, majority of which are far more old than their average life. Despite aging factor, WAPDA hydel power stations are still capable to be run at their maximum generation capacities.