Contract worth of $ 6 Billion awarded for Diamer-Bhasha Dam Construction
Government of Pakistan on Wednesday awarded a contract worth 442 billion Pakistani rupees ($5.85 billion) to a consortium of Chinese and Pakistani firms for the construction of a major dam to confront the country’s increasing power demands.
The agreement was signed at a function in the capital Islamabad among the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), and a shared venture of Power China, and Frontier Works Organization for construction of a diversion system, main dam, and access bridge of Diamer-Basha dam, aside from a 21-megawatt hydropower project.
Diamer Basha Dam CEO Amir Bashir Chaudhry and commissioned representative Yang Jiandu, signed the contract on account of WAPDA and the Joint Venture, respectively.
Water Resources Federal Minister Muhammad Faisal Vawda, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, Water Resources Federal Secretary Muhammad Ashraf, WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd), Pakistan Army Engineer-in-Chief Lt Gen Moazzam Ejaz and FWO DG Maj Gen Kamal Azfar have also attended the event.
WAPDA has already granted a consultancy agreement of the Project to Diamer Basha Consultants Group (DBCG) worth 27.182 billion rupees ($168.8 million). The consultancy contract involves construction layout, construction administration, and contract management of the Diamer-Basha Dam project, the statement added.
The development happened couple of days after Prime Minister Imran Khan declared the commencement of the construction of the much-awaited dam in northern Pakistan.
The $14 billion dam, to be built on the River Indus in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan territory, which borders China, is set to generate 4500MW of affordable electricity, declared the statement.
“The 6.4 MAF [million-acre foot] water storage capability of the dam will decrease the prevailing water deficiency in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF,” the statement declared, calculating that it will also add 35 years to the life of Tarbela Dam – one of the two significant dams in Pakistan – by decreasing sedimentation.
Some 78.5 billion rupees ($1.03 billion) will be spent on the social development of the area around the dam, mainly on the resettlement of the population. “It will also be a major source of flood mitigation and save billions worth of losses prompted by floods each year,” the statement said.
Earlier, Asim Saleem Bajwa, a special assistant to the Prime Minister on information, termed the decision “historic.”
“Announcing to begin development of Diamer Bhasha dam today is a piece of historic news for all ages of Pakistan, a huge incentive for our economy, create 16,500 jobs, produce 4500 MW hydel power, and irrigate 1.2 million-acre cultivation land,” he tweeted on Monday.
Addressing the ceremony, Water Resources Federal Minister Muhammad Faisal Vawda announced that the development of Diamer Basha Dam would begin in a few weeks.
Diamer Basha Dam is a significant project to ensure water, food, and energy security in Pakistan. Widening upon the developments of the water division by the compelling Federal Government, the Minister said that after Mohmand Dam, which was introduced by the Prime Minister in May last year, Diamer Basha is the next mega multi-purpose dam that is to be commenced in just one year which is unusual in Pakistan’s history.
Diamer Basha Dam Project, with a total financial outlay of around Rs. 1406.5 billion, will be finished in 2028. The complete financial expense involves land purchase and resettlement, confidence-building steps for social uplift of the natives, construction of dam, and power stations. The Project has a total storage capacity of 8.1 million acre-feet (MAF) and power generation capability of 4500 megawatts (MW), with a yearly generation of 18.1 billion units per annum.