By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has awarded the contract of the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam to a joint venture between Power China and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (retired) Muzammil Hussain said on Wednesday.
The move comes in the wake of a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan two days prior about water security and construction of the mega dams. Hussain said that the contract for the construction of the main dam was worth Rs442bn and includes the construction of the main dam, a diversion system, access bridge, and a 21MW hydropower plant in Tangir.
Diamer-Basha dam Chief Executive Officer Amir Bashir Chaudhry and authorised representative Yang Jiandu signed the agreement on behalf of WAPDA and the joint venture, respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain (Retd) said that the dam will go a long way for the economic development and social uplift of the country.
He said that WAPDA is committed to completing the mega project in accordance with the stipulated time frame to cope with the increasing water and electricity requirements of the country.
The WAPDA CEO said that the Diamer-Bhasha project’s value was estimated at around Rs1,406.5bn and will complete in 2028. Hussain said that the dam will be able to store 8.1 million acre-feet (MAF) of water and will be able to produce 4,500MW of electricity. The dam will be able to provide the national grid 18 billion units of electricity annually. Hussain said that earlier a consultancy service contract had also been awarded to the Diamer Basha Consultants Group (DBCG) worth Rs27.18 bn.
The consultancy agreement includes construction design, construction supervision and contract administration of the Diamer-Basha dam project.
The Joint Venture DBCG comprises of 12 top-ranked national and foreign consulting firms namely NESPAK (Pakistan), Associate Consulting Engineers(Pakistan), Mott MacDonald Pakistan (Pakistan), Poyry (Switzerland), Montgomery Watson and Harza(MWH) International Stantec (USA), Dolsar Engineering (Turkey), Mott McDonald International (England), China Water Resources Beifang Investigation, Design and Research Company (China), Mirza Associates Engineering Services (Pakistan), Al-Kasib Group of Engineering Services (Pakistan), Development Management Consultant (Pakistan) and MWH Pakistan (Pakistan) with NESPAK as the lead firm.
These firms have a vast experience of providing consultancy services for mega water projects the world over. “The Diamer-Bhasha dam is a vital project for the water, food and energy supply in the country,” said Faisal Vawda, the minister for water resources.