ISLAMABAD, Sep 9 (APP):The Suki Kinari Hydropower Project (SKHPP), one of the largest private sector run-of-the-river projects, will generate around 470MW inexpensive electricity to meet ever-growing energy needs of the country and provide 3,000 more job opportunities to locals, mitigating their financial sufferings.
“The SKHPP, being executed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), will become operational in 2022 and generate jobs for 3,000 local residents under recruitment plan in 2019 and 2020,” said Counsellor Embassy of China Li Yuanling.
The Suki Kinari (SK) hydropower project located on Kunhar River in the Kaghan Valley of District Mansehra, Khyber Pakhtunkwa, will add 870 MW to the national grid by December 2022.
He said presently around 1,600 Pakistani people are working on the SKHPP including over 900 skilled manpower and 700 laborers. He said the company is hiring the services of labourers from district Mansehra only. Highlighting the recruitment criteria, he said notice board had been placed at main gate of the project site office to hire services of the locals.
Giving detail of the project, the Counsellor said the SKHPP had been included in the CPEC projects for being in an advanced stage of development.
He said majority of local people have no experience to work in hydropower or other engineering projects, and they need to be trained by Chinese foreman or skilled man such as surveyor, operator for heavy equipment, carpenter, electrician, welder and plumber etc.
He said Chinese company ‘China Gezgouba Group Corporation’ initiated work on Suki Kinari Hydropower Project in December 2016 and total cost of the project is $1.92 billion and would be completed within 72 months.
He said this is the only hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the CPEC list and the Project is listed as the high priority ‘Early Harvest Project (EHP)’ within CPEC projects.
He said this project is being supported and closely monitored by the governments of Pakistan and China due to its importance.
He said Chinese investments in Pakistani infrastructure and power projects will surely lead to a “virtuous cycle”, thus making the country more attractive for foreign investment in a variety of sectors.
The project is being built on a “Build-Own-Operate & Transfer” basis in accordance with Government of Pakistan’s Policy for Power Generation Projects 2002, he added.
He said that total operational life of the project is 100 years and the company will hand over the Suki Kinari hydropower project to the Government of Pakistan after 30 years.
He said during this period, the company will be responsible for its maintenance and other expenditures. He said National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) will determine the tariff of the project.
He also said that work on oil-based 12 megawatt project is in full swing to provide electricity to site area of the project.
The potential for energy generation from Kunhar River was first identified around 1960. In 1959, Charles T Main US consultants were engaged by WAPDA to study this potential. In January 1960, they issued a report entitled “Kunhar River Project-Kaghan Valley.”
Further studies were conducted in 1984 and 1995 to optimize the power potential of Kunhar River. These studies identified a series of potential sites along the river from where the energy could be produced by cascading the water energy through run-of-the-river hydro projects.
Studies suggested potential sites for these projects at Batakundi, Naran, Suki Kinari, Balakot and Patrind. Run-of-the-river project envisages that the water is drawn from the river, taken to the turbines in a powerhouse, located downstream through tunnel and after running the turbines and producing energy, the water is again diverted back to the river.
He said the company had also constructed, Balakot bridge, damaged by the flood in 2017. It took 10 days to complete the construction of the bridge and got appreciation from NHA, local government and local people.