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Pakal Dul is a 1GW hydroelectric project under construction in the village of Drangdhuran, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India. It is anticipated to produce around 3,330 million units (MU) of energy a year.
Estimated to cost Rs81.12bn ($1.18bn), the Pakal Dul HEP project will be the biggest hydroelectric project in the state and the first storage project, following completion. It is part of the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for J&K and is expected to enhance the region’s power generation.
Chenab Valley Power Projects Limited (CVPPL) is constructing the project on Marusadar River, a tributary of the Chenab River. Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) holds a 49% stake in CVVPL, while National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and PTC India hold 49% and 2%, respectively.
Foundation stone for the construction of the project was laid in May 2018, while construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The project is expected to start operations from March 2024.
Pakal Dul hydroelectric project make-up
Pakal Dul hydroelectric power project includes the construction of a 167m-tall, concrete-face rockfill dam and two circular head race tunnels. Each tunnel will have a diameter of 7.2m and a length of 9.6km.
The main access tunnel (MAT) of the dam is expected to be 263m long and 8m wide.
Head race tunnels will be connected with two 423m-long and 6m-diameter circular steel-lined pressure shafts, which will be further bifurcated into four 685m-long and 3.9m-diameter penstocks.
The project will feature an underground powerhouse, which will comprise four 250MW Francis turbines and generators. The powerhouse cavern will measure 157m-long, 20.2m-wide, and 49m-high.
Four horseshoe-shaped tailrace tunnels will be constructed for the project, each measuring 125m-long and having a diameter of 5.5m.
Power generated by the Pakal Dul hydroelectric project is proposed to be transmitted to the 400kV Kishtwar switching station.
A 400kV switching station will be set up at the Kishtwar pooling station by line-in line-out (LILO) of Dulhasti / Ratle-Kishenpur 400kV (Quad) DC line.
Funding and benefits of the Pakal Dul HEP project
The Government of India has agreed to provide Rs25bn ($364.01m) as subordinate debt to the state government for developing the Pakal Dul hydroelectric project, in addition to an Rs11.92bn ($173.56m) grant to CVPPL.
During the first ten years of operation, the state of J&K will receive 12% free power from the project, in addition to waiving of water usages charges. The state will also have the first right to purchase the power allotted to NHPC (49%) and PTC (2%).
The project is expected to create more than 3,000 direct and indirect construction jobs and approximately 500 operational jobs.
Pakal Dul hydroelectric project construction
The power required during the construction of the Pakal Dul HEP project is proposed to be provided by a new 400kV / 132kV electrical substation near Kishtwar.
CVPPPL completed the construction of MAT of the powerhouse in December 2018, along with the adit to powerhouse (CAP), TBM adit road, and approach road connecting the access tunnel with the valve house.
Current ongoing construction includes powerhouse works, the approach road to surge shaft, and adit to transformer hall. Other ongoing works include construction of approach roads to diversion tunnel and adit to HRT.
Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) is performing electro-mechanical works at the Pakal Dul HEP.
In June 2018, Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) secured an Rs28.53bn ($415.41m) contract from CVPPL for the dam civil works.
The joint venture of AFCONS and JAL was awarded the Rs10.5bn ($153.03m) powerhouse civil works contract in February 2018. The JV will be responsible for the construction of the powerhouse (MAT portal) and approach roads connecting various facilities of the project.
In March 2019, Germany-based Voith Hydro was contracted to deliver four 250MW Francis turbines and generators along with auxiliary equipment and switchyard.
Snehal Engineering was awarded the contract for the fabrication and installation of spillways and power intake structures of the Pakal Dul HEP project.
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