Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has announced that it has successfully completed the diversion tunnel of the 969 MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower project.

The 500 metre long tunnel, which diverts the River Neelum, was completed in two years at a cost of $5.6m.

Currently, 25 per cent of the river’s water flow is passing through the tunnel, but WAPDA said that 100 per cent of the flow will go through early next week. The construction of the main dam can then commence.

After completion of the hydroelectric dam, a power unit of 50 MW will be installed in the dam diversion tunnel. This 50 MW generation will be in addition to the designed 969 MW capacity.

The hydropower facility is being constructed over three rivers, the Neelum, the Jhelum in Azad Jammu and the Kashmir, and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

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