Mott MacDonald wins role on 1.4GW hydropower project in Pakistan

WCN Editorial Team 19 Jun 2019 ASIA ENERGY & UTILITIES

Mott MacDonald has been selected as lead consultant for the 1,410MW Tarbela 5th Extension hydropower project, which is being delivered by the Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan.

The project is intended to increase the total generating capacity of the Tarbela Power Plant from 4,888MW to 6,300MW.

Located below the largest earth-filled dam in the world, the Tarbela power station has been steadily developed since its commissioning in 1976.

The extension project, however, aims to boost seasonal power supply to meet Pakistan's increasing electricity demand.

The project involves the construction of a new hydropower plant featuring three generating units each with 470MW capacity, at the end of an existing 43-year-old tunnel through the Tarbela dam.

It also includes the construction of new 50km-long, 500kV transmission line and a 20 to 40MW floating solar pilot project, which will be the country's first of its kind.

Planned to be commissioned in 2021, the project will be equipped to have annual power generation capacity of 1,810GWh.

Mott MacDonald Pakistan power sector leader Mark Gill said: “We are excited to continue our involvement with the Tarbela project. Our design innovation on Tarbela 4 increased the power supply by 47%.

"Similarly, our designs for Tarbela 5 have increased power by a further 10%. We are proud that our work will connect new opportunities for energy reliance and sustainability in Pakistan.”

Mott MacDonald said it has already carried out the feasibility, scoping studies and detailed design for the Tarbela 5th Extension project, which unlike other four tunnels is situated within the left abutment of the dam.

The firm, in a statement, said: "Using the tunnel for dual purpose, such as irrigation releases and power generation, has presented a unique set of challenges. Many of the challenges relate to its location between two large spillways, their associated plunge pools and a common discharge channel."

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Image: The Tarbela 5th Extension hydropower project in Pakistan is planned to be commissioned in 2021. Photo: courtesy of Mott MacDonald.

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