Jinnah hydroelectric plant enters testing phase

LAHORE, Pakistan 1/11/12 (PennWell) -- The first unit of the 96-MW Jinnah hydropower project has begun a 15 day trial commission, facility owner Jimah Energy Ventures reports.

Bids for the run-of-river plant, located on the Indus River adjacent to Jinnah Barrage in Mianwali District, were last called for in June 2011. The facility is part of the Water and Power Development Authority's (WAPDA) plan to improve Pakistan's overall hydroelectric output.

WAPDA is implementing seven new hydro projects, including 4,500-MW Diamer-Bhasha, 84-MW Kurram-Tangi, 1,410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension, 7,100-MW Bunji, 4,320-MW Dasu, and 740-MW Munda.

Hydropower currently accounts for about 32% of the country's energy mix with an average tariff of 1.54 rupees (US$0.017) per unit, or nearly six times less per unit than other forms electricity, according to Pakistani news sources.

Overall completion of the project is expected by mid-2012.

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