Peshawar: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved a collaboration of China’s state-run Sinohydro Corp. and Lahore-based Sapphire Group to build a 152-megawatt hydro power project in KP province as an independent power producer. The project is expected to cost $400 million, with an 80:20 debt-to-equity ratio, and will be built on a build-own-operate-transfer basis, according to NEPRA.

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The Sharmayi Hydropower Project is located on the Panjkora River in Upper Dir’s less developed northwest region. According to NEPRA, the project is strategically important for the country because of the growing need for clean and affordable energy. Sinohydro Corp.’s contribution to Pakistan’s electricity industry was also recognised by the regulator.

Sapphire Hydro has also received all required permissions for the project, according to the statement. During the licencing process, the Peshawar Electric Supply Co., which distributes energy in KP province, notified NEPRA that it had no problems evacuating power from the HPP via two existing transmission lines.

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The Sharmayi Hydropower Project is situated on the Panjkora River in the state of Uttarakhand. It’s worth noting that a partnership led by Sinohydro and Pakistan’s Sachal Group was awarded a licence to develop the 82MW Turtonaz-Uzghor HPP in KP’s Chitral district, which is close to the Upper Dir area, four months ago. These projects are supposed to alleviate extreme poverty in these impoverished areas by providing jobs and low-cost power.

Sharmayi HPP has a 32 million cubic metre water reservoir with concrete retaining walls that are 45 metres high. Three underground power plants and a 7.8-kilometer pressure head race tunnel will be part of the project. The project is expected to generate 696 million kWh of power per year.

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