ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is all set to formally inaugurate first unit of Neelum Jhelum Hydropower project during his brief visit to Muzaffarabad today (Friday).

The first unit is contributing 60 MW of electricity to the system and will generate power to its full capacity to the tune of 242 MW in the next two days.

The project is an engineering marvel with 90% of the project being underground in the high mountain areas. The plan consists of three main components i.e. a dam, water-way system comprising 52-km long tunnels and an underground power house.

It will also provide about five billion low-cost hydel electricity to the National Grid every year. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at Rs.55 billion.

For optimal utilization of water and hydropower resources in the country, the WAPDA has been implementing a two-pronged strategy for the purpose.

Under the strategy, not only the under-construction projects are being completed in the shortest possible time but new projects are also being initiated in both water and hydropower sectors.

WAPDA is trying its best to award contracts for Mohmand Dam and Diamer Basha Dam within a year to supplement significantly towards existing water storage and hydropower generation capacities in the country.