THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, LAHORE, 02nd OCTOBER 2013: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) raised Rs9.3 billion via term finance certificates (TFCs) to expedite work on the Neelum Jhelum hydropower project, according to a press release on Tuesday.
The funds raised will be paid to the contractor of the dam, which will then allow Wapda to expedite work on the project.
The statement praises Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali for his active involvement in arranging much-needed finances to complete the project by 2015 as per the orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who visited the project site two months ago. The successful TFC issue and organisational resource mobilisation will also serve as a precedent for financing other vital hydropower projects of the country.
The amount was raised in collaboration with the leading bank of the country holding a Pakistan Credit Rating Agency rating of AAA, it said.
Previously, the prime minister visited the site of the project and directed Wapda to make sure that the project starts feeding power to the national grid by the end of 2015. Thus in line with Sharif’s orders, water and power ministry and Wapda were making efforts and securing finances to ensure completion of the dam.
Neelum Jhelum – a strategically important project – has reached 51% completion. Out of the total 67-kilometre long tunnel, 40km has been excavated so far with the aid of two tunnel boring machines, while the excavation of an underground powerhouse station stood at 90.6% completion, and transformers hall is at 100% completion.
After completion, Neelum Jhelum dam will contribute 5.15 billion units of electricity per annum to the national grid. Annual benefits from the project had been estimated at Rs45 billion, the statement said.