Srinagar: The proposed 1,856 MW Sawalkot hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir has been given Rs 973 crore investment nod by the central government.
According to a Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) filing, the Ministry of Power has approved pre-investment activities for the Sawalkot HE Project in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir for a sum of Rs 973 crore at the November 2021 pricing level.
Situated in J&K's districts of Ramban and Udhampur, the Sawalkot project is a run-of-the-river project.
The J&K administration and NHPC signed an MoU in January 2021 for the development of the long-delayed Sawalkot hydroelectric project, which has been delayed since its conceptualisation in 1984.
It is planned on the Chenab river/basin. The project construction is likely to commence in 2023 and is expected to enter into commercial operation in 2025.
On a 1,099 hectare plot of land, a run-of-river 1,856MW hydroelectric power plant will be built. The project will be completed in two stages.
Six units of 225 MW and 56 MW hydroelectric power plants totalling 1,406MW are being built in the first phase.
The second phase will see the building of a 450MW hydroelectric power facility with two 225MW units each.
Additionally, it involves building a 193-meter-long concrete dam, a powerhouse where turbines will be installed, two 1,080- and 690-meter-long diversion tunnels, three 570-meter-long power tunnels, and 2,300-meter-long spillway and access road tunnels, as well as a substation, access roads, the laying of transmission lines, and the installation of turbines, generators, and transformers.
The J&K government signed memorandums of understanding with NHPC in January 2021 in order to secure investments totalling Rs 35,000 crore.
The MoUs that were signed would bring in investments of Rs 5,000 crore for the power sector, assuring energy security and a continuous supply of electricity. In the next four years, J&K will make a quantum leap from having a power deficit to having a surplus, LG Manoj Sinha has said.
According to the agreement, NHPC would collaborate with the J&K government to finish the stalled Sawalkot project. According to Sinha, the abundant water resources could provide 14,867 MW of electricity, but the potential has not been fully realised.
“The project has been perpetually postponed since its conception in 1984 and was expected to generate 1,856 MW. J&K was deliberately prevented from attracting investments despite having the abundant potential of power generation; its energy needs were not addressed. With the execution of the new mega power projects, a number of other employment avenues would be generated for the locals,” said the Lt Governor.
The MoUs will result in the implementation of the 850-MW Ratle HEP and the 930-MW Kirthai-II HEP projects, besides the execution of the Sawalkot HEP (1856 MW), Uri-I (Stage-II) (240 MW) and Dulhasti (Stage-II) (258 MW).
“Only 3,504 MW power is being generated till now. The works started now will ensure that another 3,498 MW power is generated in the next three to four years. The potential achieved in 70 years would now be doubled within the next four years.”