OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - A five-member team of consultants of Dasu Hydropower Project Saturday had an hour-long meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and gave a detailed briefing to the LCCI office-bearers on the low-cost energy plant that will contribute 21.3 billion units of electricity to the national grid. Benefits of the project have been estimated at about Rs 191.7 billion annually. The consultants team, comprising IIJIMA Motohiko, Project Manager/Team Leader, Dasu Hydropower Project, Hiroyasu Kitayama, Chief Material Specialist, Nippon Koei Co, Ltd, Japan, Toshimitsu Tanaka, Nippon Koei Co, Ltd, Japan, Muhammad Munir, Managing Partner Development & Management Consultants (DMC) and Ziaul Hassan, Deputy Project Manager, discussed a number of technical issues with the LCCI SVP Kashif Younis Meher. LCCI Vice President Saeeda Nazar and Executive Committee Member Husnain Reza Mirza were also present in the meeting. After listening to the point of view of the visiting team, the LCCI Senior Vice President said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce is ready to extend every help so that the work on the mega hydropower project of national importance could be started at the earliest. He urged the consultants to have regular meetings at the LCCI as it has 18000 members belonging to all sorts of businesses and they would be ready to facilitate the consultants. When the visiting team discussed the issue regarding provision of Flyash (a residue of coal and used in construction of dams), the LCCI Senior Vice President informed that the material could be made available in Pakistan and in this regard the LCCI would be doing the needful. Dasu hydropower project is sited 7 km upstream of Dasu village on Indus River, 74 km downstream of Diamer Basha Dam and 350 km from Islamabad. The project is located in district Kohistan of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa. The governments reliance on thermal generation has contracted the hydel contribution in the total energy mix. The policy of generating more electricity through thermal power plants resulted in expensive generation that widened the gap between the cost of production and sale. It is pertinent to mention here that Wapda had awarded contract to a joint venture, Dasu Hydropower Consultants, for preparation of a detailed engineering design and construction supervision of 4,320MW Dasu hydropower project. The joint venture comprises two foreign and three local consulting companies including Nippon Koei of Japan, Dolsar Engineering of Turkey, Development and Management Consultants, National Development Consultants and Pakistan Engineering Services from Pakistan.