August 20, 2016: The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman Zafar Mahmood today held a meeting during his visit to Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project, wherein the project was critic ally appraised.
Tarbela Dam General Manager Iqbal Masood Siddiqui, General Manager (Central Contract Cell) Nasir Hanif, Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project Director Sohail Khan, Consultants Acting Project Manager Abdul Majeed, representative of civil contractors namely LingJianke, YungHeyi and Tuo Yu, representatives of electro-mechanical contractor namely Stephen Luis, Cheng Ho Chen and others attended the meeting.
It was noted in the meeting that the following force majeure events have caused slippages of various targets pertaining to completion of the project:
1. Abnormal high flows in terms of timings and quantity of waters
2. IRSA’s constraints vis-à-vis releases of water from the Dam
3. Accident at site on July 02, 2016
The meeting was informed that the construction activities on the project are being carried out in right earnest round-the-clock. An untoward incident took place on one of the construction sites on July 02, 2016 at about 2300 hours resulting in four casualties including two Chinese and two Pakistani workers. The accident is evidence that an extremely tight 24-hours schedule is being observed in implementing the project where even a single day becomes very important.
It was informed during the meeting that due to reasons mentioned earlier, the first generating unit of the project is expected to be completed in August 2017 while the remaining two units are likely to come on line in February and March 2018. During the meeting, the Chairman pointed out the following shortcomings:
1. The second and third generating units are much delayed, which appears to be unjustifiable.
2. Detailed schedule of time lines for accelerated construction programme was not chalked out.
3. The schedule was not got signed from the civil and electro-mechanical contractors.
4. The schedule does not carry the endorsement of the consultants.
5. The schedule was not made contractually enforceable.
The Chairman directed the project authorities to prepare revised schedule of construction in consultation with the consultants, duly signed by the contractors and present it to WAPDA Authority for decision. Prior to submitting the revised schedule, its detailed financial and economic appraisal be carried out, he further said.
It was noted in the meeting that while finalizing the accelerated construction plan, WAPDA estimated its financial benefits amounting to US$ 300 million and the World Bank estimated additional economic benefits upto US$ 750 million, while the contractor demanded US$ 51 million for implementing the same. Therefore, it is all the more important to include fresh cost-benefit analysis in the revised schedule as well, so that the decision is made keeping all factors in view.
The Chairman told the contractor that after February this year, the time lines agreed to in the accelerated construction plan were not adhered to, hence, no payment was made to them on this account. If the contractor fails to submit a justifiable schedule, the accelerated construction plan will have to be aborted in accordance with the contractual clauses, and the payments to the contractor amounting to US$ 25.5 million which were made till February 2016, would also be recovered.
It was also decided during the meeting that the revised schedule be submitted to WAPDA Authority by Thursday so that the Authority can decide that either the accelerated construction plan be allowed to continue or the original construction plan is to be followed.