WAPDA has successfully completed the Golen Gol Hydropower Project. The one hundred and eighty-kilometre-long transmission line passes via the most difficult mountainous lands having severe weather conditions.
The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has completed one of the toughest transmission lines ever from Golen Gol (Chitral) to Timergara for the evacuation of electricity, produced by the Golen Gol Hydropower Project, to the national grid.
As many as seven hundred and six transmission towers, which includes one hundred and forty-one towers of one hundred and thirty-two kilovolts (132 kV) and five hundred and sixty-five towers of two hundred and twenty kilovolts (220 kV), have been placed on the snow-covered mountain peaks including the Lowari Top—having an altitude of 10,312 ft.
The transmission towers in the country have never been erected at this much altitude previously.
Though the construction of the transmission line in no way comes under the domain of WAPDA following the unbundling of its power unit back in the year 2007, however, the construction of Golen Gol Hydropower Project was taken as a challenge by the authority. The authority not just finished the task solely but also managed to successfully provide energy to the under-discussion transmission line.
The Golen Gol Hydropower Project is now connected to the national grid and is providing electricity to the system via its second unit on a trial basis.
The second unit is working on different loads, in line with the standard operating procedure (SOP), having a maximum generation capacity of thirty-six megawatts (36MW).
Previously, the first unit of Golen Gol Hydropower Project was transmitting electricity to Chitral and its neighbouring areas via a local arrangement made by WAPDA for meeting the complete energy demand of Chitral.
The project ever since it began, has facilitated more than thirty-three million units of electricity to the consumers. The third and last unit of the project is also complete. The moment it would get connected to the national grid the wet commissioning of the third unit would start.
Golen Gol Hydropower Project is built on the Golen Gol-a tributary of River Mastuj near Chitral. The installed production capacity of the project is one hundred and eight megawatts (108 MW) having three producing units, with each unit having a capacity of thirty-six megawatts (36 MW).
The estimated average benefits of the project have been calculated to be at Rs 3.7 billion per annum.
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