ISLAMABAD: The 3.5km Tail Race Tunnel (TRT) blockage, which has rendered the 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project inoperable since July 6, has caused an estimated Rs 22.50 billion in damage (Construction costs of Rs. 2.50 billion and commercial losses of Rs. 20 billion).
“The new start date for the project is the end of February 2023. A senior official of the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Company Limited (NJHPCL) stated that the project would endure a business loss of Rs20 billion until February 2023.The official responded that both the heads, TRT and business loss, are covered under the insurance arrangement and that Wapda will not suffer the loss when questioned whether the government or NICL (National Insurance Company Limited) will bear the damage.
“NICL holds 7% of the insurance money, while a group of Chinese corporations own 93% of it. Additionally, they will split the costs associated with putting the initiative into operation. The official stated that since the CoD of the project, or April 2018, the insurance company has been receiving Rs 1 billion from NJHPCL, totaling Rs 4 billion.
They now have to pay Rs. 2.5 billion for damage and Rs. 20 billion for commercial losses.The individual claimed that the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project brings in between Rs48 and Rs50 billion in revenue.”In three months during the summer season, four units (turbines) of the project become operational, in six months, three units, and in three months during the winter, only one unit runs depending on water flows.”
According to the official, officials have made the decision to build the tunnel as quickly as possible and purchase a maintenance truck for tunnel inspection. As per the official report on the tunnel disaster, on July 4, when the plant was operating at full capacity (969MW), an unusual rise in water leakage was seen in the powerhouse, which was managed by continuous drainage pumps.