The dam, once constructed, will have a power generation capacity of 4,500 MW.
Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) announced it awarded the contract for construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam to a consortium. The contract, which is worth 442 billion rupees, includes the construction of a diversion system, main dam, access bridge, and the 21MW Tangir hydropower project.
The project is awarded to China Power-FWO consortium, which hold a 70% and a 30% stake in the project, respectively. Forward Works Organization, or FWO, is a commercial subsidiary of the Pakistan Army. The contract is a part of the larger dam project, which will cost around $14 billion and is expected to be completed by 2028.
Diamer-Bhasha dam project CEO Amir Bashir Chaudhry and representative of China Power Yang Jiandu Faisal Vawda, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Secretary for Water Resources Mohammad Ashraf, Chairman Wapda Lt Gen (R) Muzammil Hussain, Pakistan Army’s engineer-in-chief Lt Gen Moazzam Ejaz and Director General FWO Maj Gen Kamal Azfar were present at the contract signing ceremony.
WAPDA sheds light on the specifications of the overall project, which will add another 35 years of life to Tarbela Dam by reducing sedimentation. “The 6.4 MAF [million-acre foot] water storage capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF,” the statement said.
The dam, once constructed, will have a power generation capacity of 4,500 MW. The project will also help avoid floods and reduce yearly losses by billions. 1.2 million acres of agricultural land will be irrigated through the project. The dam project will also create more than 16,000 jobs.
The project was approved for construction in 2010 but was delayed after the lenders backtracked due to India’s opposition. It was split into two core projects, the dam itself and the power project, which will be developed later. The dam will be major storage of water after Tarbela and Mangla dams.