Inquiry commission affirms govt’s stance on Nandipur project: Asif

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif Wednesday said the Inquiry Commission on Nandipur Power Project had affirmed the official figure of Rs 58.416 billion cost of the project.

Addressing a press conference along with Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid here, he said some elements had given irresponsible statements on the Nandipur project which led to the formation of the Inquiry Commission by the government.

The commission, he said, had now formally validated government’s stance after thorough probe and investigation about the actual cost of the project.

The minister pointed out that the plant had been fully functional since October 24 this year and was producing 425 MW electricity. It had so far produced electricity worth Rs 5.6 billion, he added.

He said Rs 51 billion had been spent on the project out of total projected PC-1 cost of Rs 58.416 billion. Around Rs 7 billion was yet to be utilized.

The detailed written reply of the objections raised in the report would be given after presenting it to the Prime Minister, which would be later made public, he added.

Khawaja Asif said due to litigation the project could not be completed by 2011, and the present government started work on the same PC-1 in 2013 and spent only Rs 67 million on its remobilization.

First the National Electric Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and now the Inquiry Commission had rejected all objections that the project’s cost had escalated to Rs 84 billion, it would not generate 425 MW electricity, fuel treatment plant was under capacity, and the plant would be closed in near future.

The minister said the plant would be converted to liquified natural gas (LNG) to solve the issue of fuel treatment plant. The cost of production would decrease by two per cent to Rs 10 per unit after its conversion to LNG.

He said the plant would use 100 mcf LNG to produce electricity at affordable rate.

Khawaja Asif said that the company would bear the cost for enhancing the capacity of the treatment plant.

He said the commission’s report mentioned that the company was blacklisted after award of the contract and not before as claimed by certain quarters.

The minister said the project’s board of directors, which was autonmous, had appointed the managing director.

Replying to a question, he said net hydel profit would be paid to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa soon as Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif had directed to resolve the issue.

To a question, he said the government was in contact with the workers of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), who were on strike, to resolve the issue amicably.