LAHORE - A Rs 4.1 billion agreement for consultancy services for Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project (NUHEP) was signed between WAPDA and Neelum-Jhelum Consultants, a joint venture of two foreign and three local firms, here at WAPDA House. General Manager (NJHEP) Husnain Afzal and Gene J Kocian signed the agreement on behalf of WAPDA and Neelum-Jhelum Consultants respectively. WAPDA Chairman Shakil Durrani and Member (Water) Syed Raghib Abbas Shah also attended the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, WAPDA Chairman said that the 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project would be completed in seven years with a total cost of Rs. 130 billion and contribute more than 5 billion units of electricity annually to the national grid. He said that the project would help improve the ratio of hydel electricity in the total generation system of the country. Per unit electricity, generated by the project, will cost only Rs. 1.92, which is about three times less than that of the thermal generation. While thanking the AJK Government, the Chairman revealed that the land for the project has already been acquired. Dilating upon the future hydropower projects of WAPDA, the Chairman said that detailed engineering designs of various hydropower projects with accumulative generation capacity of 25,000 MW are presently at the advance stages. He said that the construction work on the 4,500 MW Diamer-Basha Dam would commence in June next year. Likewise, Kohala Hydropower Project (1,200 MW) and Bunji Hydropower Project (5,400 MW) are expecterd to start in 2010 and 2011 respectively. WAPDA has awarded the contract for the construction of Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project at a cost of Rs. 90.9 billion to a consortium comprising of Messrs China Gezhouba Group Company and China Machinery Export Corporation. Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project will be implemented over a period of eight years. The project, with capacity of 970 Mega Watt (MW), will generate 5.15 billion units of electricity on its completion. It is pertinent to mention that Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project is located near Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The main features of the project include construction of a dam on river Neelum, 47 kilometers long diversion tunnel and installation of four turbines each with a generation capacity of 242 MW. The Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project is of immense importance as the execution of this project would not only establish water rights of Pakistan over the River Neelum but also improve hydel ratio in over all power generation in the country. The project on its completion, would contribute about 5,150 giga watt hour electricity annually to the national grid.