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Golen Gol power linked to national grid at Timergara

LAHORE: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has synchronised a second unit of the 108MW Golen Gol hydropower project and connected it to the national grid through the most crucial transmission line it laid from Chitral to Timergara.
“We have successfully synchronised the second unit of 36MW and adding the power to the national grid after evacuating it through completion of the most crucial transmission line from Golen Gol (Chitral) to Timergara,” said Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain.Golen Gol powerhouse in Chitral
The 180-kilometre-long Golen Gol-Timergara transmission line passes through the most difficult mountainous terrain having extreme weather conditions. As many as 706 transmission towers, including 141 towers of 132kV and 565 towers of 220kV, have been erected on the snow-clad mountain peaks, including that of Lowari Top at the highest altitude of 10,312 feet. Transmission towers in Pakistan have never been erected at this altitude.

706 transmission towers, including 141 towers of 132kV and 565 of 220kV, have been erected on snow-clad mountains

“Since the first unit of the project had started power generation in January this year, providing electricity to Chitral, upper Chitral and Drosh more than their need, synchronisation of the project’s second unit and evacuation of power through transmission line is big news for the nation. Soon the project’s third unit will also be synchronised,” the Wapda chief said.
Although construction of transmission lines does not fall within the ambit of Wapda after unbundling of its power wing way back in 2007, it took the construction of transmission line for Golen Gol project as a challenge. It not only completed the task on its own but also successfully energised the said transmission line two days ago.
The project has now been connected to the national grid. Thus, the project has started providing electricity to the system through its second unit on a trial basis via the national grid. “The second unit is being operated on various loads in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) up to its maximum generation capacity of 36MW,” said a spokesperson for Wapda in a press release issued on Sunday.
He said the first unit had been providing electricity to Chitral and its adjoining areas since its commissioning in January through a local arrangement developed by Wapda.
“The project, since its commissioning, has provided more than 33 million units of electricity to consumers. The third and last unit of the project is also complete. The wet commissioning of third unit will commence very soon by connecting it to the national grid,” he explained.
The project has been constructed on Golen Gol — a tributary of River Mastuj near Chitral — in phases. The project will provide 436 million units of electricity to the national grid every year. The project is expected to save around Rs3.7 billion per annum.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2018

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