The town of Skardu and a whole host of villages in the mountain region of Gilgit-Baltistan are to benefit from a new hydropower project on the Harpo river. The German hydropower specialists from Tractebel previously completed the feasibility study for this future-oriented project back in 2011.
Now they are once again working for the Pakistani Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). In the first two years they will be working on the preparation of the tender documents and assisting with the award of contracts. The environmental and social impact studies will also be undertaken in this period. Construction itself will account for a further four years.
The location on the Harpo river, a tributary of the Indus river, has a head of almost 750 metres and will generate an output of 34.5 MW. The Harpo river’s water will be collected by a Tyrolian-type weir. The design principle of this system will prevent coarse bed load entering the intake waterway. Also planned is a waterway with a double chamber desander, an open channel and a penstock for feeding the water to the powerhouse. Two vertically arranged Pelton turbines will generate annual electricity production output of almost 170 GWh.
The power station project, with forecast completion in 2025, also involves a new access road and a suspension bridge with a span of around 150 metres across the Indus. Funding for the entire project is being provided by the German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW) and the French Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The contract for the joint venture was signed by the WAPDA and representatives of the joint venture on 26 April.