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This high head environmentally friendly run-of-river scheme with only a small pondage for the power intake was designed by Norconsult in cooperation with Norplan. The contract included updating of a previous feasibility study, detailed engineering design and an environmental study of the project.

Client: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) 

The Neelum-Jhelum project is some 100 km to the north-west of Islamabad. It utilizes a gross head of about 420 m by diverting the Neelum River water from the village of Nauseri to the lower limb of the Jhelum River through a 32.5 km long tunnel system.

The optimised maximum power station output is 969 MW, corresponding to a designed maximum discharge of 280 m3/s. The project yields an average annual energy generation of 5254 GWh, avd due to the adoption of an underground layout and careful planning. The project has limited environmental impact.

The recommended mitigation measures ensure that it does not adversely consume biological resources, nor adverse impact on inhabited areas.

When implemented, the project was the first underground hydroelectric project of its kind in Pakistan. The experience gained from design and construction of the long tunnel system acted as a catalyst in the development of the country’s hydropower resources by way of environmentally friendly underground solutions.

As part of the initial review and inception study on the project, the Consultants proposed an alternative development to the original WAPDA scheme. This proposal yielded a greater power and energy potential and reduced environmental impacts by extending the scope of the project to include a higher hydraulic head and combined two previously studied power plants into one. The alternative solution was accepted by WAPDA and further work was based on this new layout.

Services rendered by Norconsult: 

  • Feasibility study update
  • Project optimization
  • Power system planning
  • Economic analysis
  • Civil, electrical and mechanical engineering final design and tender specifications
  • Initial environmental assessment
  • Environmental impact analysis
  • On the job training of counterpart personnel in Pakistan and in Norway