Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan has awarded a $354.6m contract to Power Construction Corporation of China (PCCCL) for civil works on the 1530MW Tarbela 5th Extension hydropower project.

The company has secured the contract through an international competitive bidding.

The project is being constructed on the fifth tunnel of the Tarbela Dam in Pakistan with approved PC-I of $807m.

For the hydropower project, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and World Bank agreed to provide $390m while Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is providing $300m.

The new hydropower plant will be equipped with three generating units each with 510MW of capacity.

WAPDA stated that the project is planned to commence generating electricity by the mid of 2024 and provide nearly 1.347 billion units of low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid annually.

Upon completion, the Tarbela 5th extension hydropower project will increase the total generating capacity at the Tarbela Dam from 4888MW to 6418MW.

WAPDA chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain said: “WAPDA, in its endeavor to enhancing water storage capacity and share of cheap and clean hydel power generation in the National Grid, is constructing as many as 10 projects including Tarbela 5th Extension.

“Timely completion of these projects is all the more important for the purpose. We are confident to complete Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project in accordance with the stipulated timelines.”

In April last year, the World Bank approved $700m funding to Pakistan for the construction of the 4.32GW Dasu hydropower project.


Tarbela Dam in Pakistan. Credit: Paul Duncan, U.S. Marine Corps.