Karot Hydropower Station in Pakistan Creates a Green Pearl on the Jhelum River

Seetao 2022-12-19 15:45
  • The full operation of the power station will effectively alleviate the power shortage in Pakistan
  • Pakistan Karot Hydropower Station is the first large-scale hydropower investment and construction project along the the Belt and Road
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27 Minutes

Entering the residence of the Pakistani ambassador to China, the first picture hanging on the left corridor of the hall is a group photo of the leaders of China and Pakistan. In the photo, the leaders of the two countries jointly pressed the project touch ball to witness the ground breaking of the Karot Hydropower Project. When talking about this photo, Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin Haq was very emotional. Haak, who was then the Director of Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, witnessed this important diplomatic moment and also recorded the important historical node of Karot Hydropower Station. Seven years later, with the joint efforts of the workers of the two countries, Karot Hydropower Station, the energy priority project of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, has been fully put into operation for power generation.

Three Gorges Project in Pakistan

Clean, green and efficient! When he learned that Karot Hydropower Station was put into operation for power generation, Huck was very excited. These three words are his high evaluation and summary of the Karot project. "Clean represents clean energy; green is because the project attaches great importance to ecological and environmental protection in the construction process; high efficiency is because the highest level engineers in the hydropower industry gather here to complete the project construction with high quality and efficiency, solving the problem of power consumption in many areas."

On June 29, 2022, the mountains in Punjab Province, Pakistan were green, and the Jhelum River was sparkling in the sunlight. As all units of Karot Hydropower Station are put into operation for power generation, the constant water energy from the source of the Jhelum River is transformed into surging power, providing Pakistan with clean, cheap and sustainable energy and changing the local power shortage.

Karot Hydropower Station is located on the Jhelum River in Pakistan. The total investment of the project is about 1.74 billion dollars, the total installed capacity is 720000 kilowatts, and the annual average power generation is 3.2 billion kilowatt hours, which can meet the power demand of 5 million local people. Karot Project is the first hydropower project in Pakistan that fully uses Chinese technology and Chinese standards. It is mainly invested and developed by China Three Gorges Corporation, and the Yangtze River Design Group is the engineering survey and design unit. The headquarters of both enterprises are located in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Haak introduced that the total installed capacity in Pakistan is about 20 million kilowatts, with oil, natural gas, coal and other fossil energy accounting for the highest proportion, about 50%; Hydropower accounts for 20%. "According to the domestic energy development plan, we are gradually increasing the proportion of clean energy. After Karot Hydropower Station is fully put into operation, it not only alleviates the problem of serious energy shortage, but also further optimizes Pakistan's energy structure to help green development."

Huck also mentioned the role of Karot Hydropower Station Project in ensuring people's livelihood such as agricultural irrigation and ecological water supplement. "After the impoundment of the reservoir, it can provide water source support for the irrigation of farmland on both sides of the Jhelum River, and at the same time, it can guarantee the urban water supply."

In 2021, Huck visited Yichang, Hubei Province, visited the Three Gorges Project and other places, and participated in the releasing of Chinese sturgeon. During this period, he was deeply impressed by the comprehensive benefits of the Three Gorges Project, such as flood control, power generation, navigation and water replenishment.

Huck said: "From the perspective of scale, Karot cannot really compare with the Three Gorges Project, but the comprehensive benefits of Karot are of great significance to Pakistan. From this perspective, Karot Hydropower Station is very similar to the Three Gorges Project in China and is a major livelihood project."

In addition, Karot Hydropower Station Project also focuses on promoting the integration and development with surrounding communities, building more than 20 public welfare projects for the surrounding areas, including schools, hospitals, roads and other public infrastructure. During the peak period of project construction, more than 5000 jobs were directly created.

Create a green pearl on the Jhelum River

A perfect design blueprint, "green" must be its bright background. Over the past seven years, a number of Chinese constructors have integrated Chinese technology and green ideas into the project, and built Karot Hydropower Station into a "green pearl" on the Jhelum River.

Karot Hydropower Station is located at the fourth stage of cascade development in the Jhelum River basin, the main river in Pakistan. With the completion and start of the project, the irrigation efficiency in the lower reaches of the river will be improved, the shipping conditions will be improved, and the flood and drought disasters caused by climate change will be alleviated to a certain extent. During the construction of the power station, the green concept is integrated into the project all the time; After the completion of the project, Pakistan's clean energy supply will be increased, and it is estimated that the annual carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 3.5 million tons. Adhering to the principle of giving priority to environmental protection, Karot Hydropower Station not only brings power to the local people, but also promotes the harmonious coexistence between the local people and nature.

During the construction of Karot Hydropower Station, China's innovative technology has played a crucial role. Karot Hydropower Station project area is mainly of soft rock geology, which is vulnerable to environmental changes. The dam construction of the hydropower station is quite challenging. In order to ensure that the project can achieve the goal of energy conservation and emission reduction, the construction team has carried out a series of tests and analyses on building dams in soft rock locally, and proposed an innovative scheme to use excavated materials and waste slag as dam filling materials for river dams, which has greatly reduced the energy consumption caused by the mining and transportation of building materials. In addition, the team also customized the smart park management system to achieve intelligent, systematic and efficient upgrading of park management.

Mohammed Ali Mahmoud, the Pakistani electric engineer of the project, said when referring to the "Chinese wisdom" of Karot Hydropower Station, "Karot Hydropower Station has widely used Chinese technology, and I have learned a lot of new knowledge. This project will improve the lives of many Pakistanis and greatly alleviate the contradiction between national power supply and demand."

It is understood that the total filling volume of the asphalt concrete core rockfill dam of Karot Hydropower Station is 4.1 million cubic meters, which is large. However, except for a small amount of filling materials with special requirements for drainage, reverse filtering, etc., the dam filling materials are mainly spillway excavation materials and tunnel excavation materials. No separate quarries are set up in other areas, which maximizes the use of building excavation materials.

Science and technology are also helping to save energy and reduce consumption. Yue Chaojun said that with the concrete management system, the project can achieve intelligent dynamic monitoring of concrete temperature and intelligent water supply, so as to save water, electricity and energy; The dam construction simulation system can achieve real-time monitoring and information upload of the location, rolling times and vibration frequency of rolling equipment, saving manpower and minimizing energy consumption on the premise of meeting quality requirements. Karot Hydropower Station has also planned a complete greening plan for the project area, selected trees, shrubs and grass seeds that adapt to the local soil and climate, and done a good job of greening the site in time and area. "

"As a participant in the Karot project, we hope to contribute to lighting up the 'China Pakistan Economic Corridor' with little action, and also look forward to writing a new chapter in overseas hydropower projects with the 'Chinese standard'." Yang Qigui, member of the CPC Committee and deputy general manager of Changjiang Design Group, said.

China Pakistan Love on the Jhelum River

In order to improve the living conditions of the residents near Karot Hydropower Station, the Chinese construction party has deeply cooperated with the local government where the project is located, built various facilities in the local area, such as primary and secondary schools, hospitals, roads, parks, water supply systems, and set up special scholarships to subsidize Pakistani students to study in China.

Malik Bilal Tariq used to live in the reservoir area of Karot Hydropower Station. Due to the construction of the hydropower station, Malik's family needs to move out of the reservoir area. The Karot Hydropower Station Project Team not only provided them with economic compensation, but also provided them with new houses in nearby villages. In addition, the project team also provided a scholarship for Malik to study engineering in Chinese universities.

"This has changed my life. I come from a low - and middle-income family with eight brothers and sisters. My parents can't afford me to go to college at all. It is the scholarship provided by Chinese enterprises that makes me the first person in my family to go to college. Malik said proudly." Now, Malik has returned home from his studies and successfully worked in Karot Hydropower Station. His stable income allows him to finally share the economic pressure for his family.

Moreover, from October 2019, the Three Gorges Group Pakistan Scholarship Program began to be implemented. The plan adopts the "2+2" cooperative school running mode. During the two years of Pakistani students studying in China, in addition to systematic study in Jiangxi University of Technology, the Three Gorges Group also provides them with practical training and on-the-job internship opportunities. Through the combination of theory and practice, they will have the knowledge and ability to carry out the construction and operation of hydropower stations from the campus, and cultivate and reserve outstanding talents for local hydropower construction.

At present, 18 local students have been selected into the program and completed their studies, and 10 of them have entered Karot Power Plant after graduation.

Malik, who has now worked in Karot Power Plant, said, "I am very lucky to have this precious opportunity to work in this multinational company, which is a dream of many people. I will make all efforts for its development."

During the construction of Karot Project, the Project Department will improve the conditions of local education and medical facilities, maintain public water supply systems and roads, build public libraries and rest rooms, etc., so that local residents can enjoy the real benefits of the project.

Lei Mingshan, Chairman and Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of the Three Gorges Group, said: "After more than seven years of unremitting efforts by Chinese and Pakistani builders, Pakistan's' Three Gorges Project 'has been jointly completed. It is hoped that under the management and operation of both China and Pakistan, Karot Hydropower Station will become a major livelihood project to promote sustainable green development in Pakistan and benefit the local people, and a vivid practice of high-quality cooperation in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and the the Belt and Road."

The engine rumbled and green electricity gurgled. With the four units turning ceaselessly, Karot Hydropower Station will become the high-speed engine of Punjab's economic and social development, and will also inject inexhaustible green power into the construction of the "China Pakistan Economic Corridor". Editor/Zhao E