Pakistan's federal government approved the 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project at a cost of PKR128.4 billion in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. The project will be built by a consortium consisting of China Gezhouba Group Corp. (CGGC) and CMEC China. The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) had already approved award of the contract to the CGGC-CMEC joint venture in March 2007 at the contract price of PKR90.9 billion. The project will also be executed through Neelum-Jhelum Project Co., a government-owned unit, which has since been set up and the debt ratio of the project will be around 50/50. The project envisages the diversion of the Neelum river at Nosairi in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, through a 32.5 km headrace tunnel to a power station. Three tunnels would be built under the project design: the first two would be 15 km long and 40 square metres and the second would be 17 km long and 80 square metres. The project will be completed in eight years. Read E-News Weekly 2/2006. Visit www.gzbgj.com/english/index.asp and www.cmec.com 52/07-01/08.The joint venture Neelum-Jhelum Consultants led by MWH and consisting of MWH, Pakistani firms Nespak, ACE and NDC, and Norwegian firm Norplan has been selected by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to provide design, construction drawing preparation and construction management services for the Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project. The contract is worth PKR4.1 billion and covers a period of eight years. The project, expected to cost approximately PKR130 billion to build, will include a concrete gravity diversion dam, a headrace tunnel, a surge chamber and an underground powerhouse that will have four turbine-generating units. The total length of headrace tunnel is 28.5 km. A 15.1 km stretch of the tunnel from the Nauseri will be constructed as a twin tunnel system each with a cross-section of 42 square metres. The remaining headrace tunnel down to the surge chamber will be a single tunnel having a cross-section of 82 square metres. The tunnels are shotcrete lined with a concrete invert. The tunnel crosses the Jhelum river approximately 380 m below its bed. The tunnel will be accessed by seven adits for removal of excavated spoil. The surge chamber consists of a 340 m-high riser shaft. A 820 m-long surge tunnel, four steel-lined penstock tunnels, 150 m long and having 3.8 m internal diameter will also be constructed. The underground power station will house four units with a total capacity of 969 MW. Located in the Muzaffarabad district in the state of Azad Jammu Kashmir, approximately 138 km from Islamabad, the Neelum-Jhelum project is one of several major projects planned to increase Pakistan's hydroelectric generation capabilities to meet the growing energy needs of the country. Click pk/21. Visit www.wapda.gov.pk, www.mwhglobal.com, www.nespak.com.pk and www.norplan.com 25/08.