KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday has accepted an application of Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) that is seeking power generation license for its Karora Hydropower Project.The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is sponsor of an 11.80MW Karora Hydropower Project and the Executing Agency (EA) for implementation of the project, PEDO, has submitted the application for the grant of license from the Nepra.Karora Hydropower Project has been conceived as a run-of-river scheme on Khan Khwar which is right tributary of Indus River in Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Project is nearly 25 km from Besham accessible through Besham-Mingora road while 225 km from Islamabad.The feasibility study of Karora Hydropower Project was completed in August 2011 later on the construction of the project started in December 2014. The under construction weir site is located on Khan Khwar near village Kuz Kana while power house is proposed near Marine village 5.2 Km downstream of the weir site. The power will be evacuated through 132KV-10 Km transmission line and interconnected at Besham Qilla.The project will add the 11.80MW electric power in national grid. The project is being financed by the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from its own resources as 80 percent of project cost is being funded by HDF (Hydel Development Fund, KPK KPK Provincial Government) and 20 percnet by ADP (Annual Development Program, KPK Provincial Government).The Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the project is November 2019.Hydropower is a primary domestic and renewable source of energy. Pakistan is endowed with a hydel potential of approximately 40,000 MW, most of which lies in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and some parts of Punjab. In spite of this, Pakistan’s energy market investment in hydel power generation has, unfortunately, been caught up in confusion and paradoxes for many decades and no significant progress has been achieved so far. The total installed capacity of the hydropower stations in the country is about 6,595 MW, out of which 3,767 MW is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,698 MW in Punjab, and 1,036 MW in AJK and 93 MW in the Gilgit Baltistan, which represents merely 15 % of the total identified potential.PEDO has so far identified a number of promising hydel potential sites of more than 6000 MW capacity, which can be developed in a systematic manner either through Public sector or Private sector. PEDO, with the assistance of GTZ (German Agency for Technical Cooperation), has compiled a Master Plan for rural electrification in the Northern mountainous areas of KP with particular emphasis on those areas which were not connected to the National Grid System. The Master Plan entails a total potential of more than 6000 MW that has been identified for public and private sector development.The hydropower potential sites are mainly located in the Northern districts of K.P i.e. Chitral, Dir, Swat, Indus Kohistan and Mansehra.Published in Daily Times, February 3rd 2018.