Thermal power costs 5 times of hydroelectric
During the last eight years hydropower cost remained at Rs 1.08 per unit compared to the thermal generation’s cost of Rs 5.36 per unit, therefore Pakistan needs to focus on hydropower generation to resolve its longstanding power shortfall issue.
Statistics available on the occasion of eight-year completion of 1450 Megawatts (MW) Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project (GBHP), reveals that the project contributed about 53 billion units of electricity to the national grid, registering revenues of Rs 226.5 billion to the national exchequer.
Had this quantum of electricity generated through thermal resources, it would have cost Rs 283.8 billion in foreign exchange. It is pertinent to mention here that the average cost of electricity generated by GBHP during the last eight years remained Rs 1.08 per unit, whereas Rs 5.36 per unit from thermal resources during the same period, said WAPDA spokesman Abid Rana on Thursday.
The power project is located on the downstream of the River Indus after Tarbela Dam. Constructed with a cost of Rs 96.957 billion, it consists of three main components, the barrage, the power channel and the power complex. The project holds the record of having the biggest concrete lined channel in the world with a length of 51.9 kilometres and design flow of up to 56,000 cusecs.
Implementation of the project came to fruition with the commissioning of unit No 1 and 2 in August 2003. The work on rest of the three units continued afterwards and the last unit, unit No 5 was commissioned in April 2004.
GBHP utilises the hydraulic head available between Tarbela Dam and the confluence of the Indus and Haro rivers for power generation. With an average energy output of 6.6 billion units per annum, it provides maximum electricity during the daily hours of peak demand round-the year, including the months when Mangla and Tarbela reservoirs are historically at their lowest level.
According to the details, 4.706 billion units were produced during August 2003-June 2004, 6.274 billion units during the fiscal year 2004-05, 6.954 billion units in 2005-06, 6.845 billion units in 2006-07, 6.490 billion units in 2007-08, 6.410 billion units in 2008-09, 6.716 billion units in 2009-10, 7.354 billion units in 2010-11 and 1.185 billion units in July to August 2011.
Daily Times report