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Dasu Hydropower Project 4,320MW

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

The Dasu hydropower project (DHP) is a 4,320MW hydropower plant located on the Indus River. The name of the dam is because of a nearby town called Dasu town in Kohistan District of KPK Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.

Project Type

Hydroelectric Power Plant


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan

Installed Capacity


Construction Started



Phase one: 2,023

The project will help Pakistan reduce its power tariff and diversify the power supply sources currently dominated by thermal and meet its SGD 2030 Targets of Sustainable Development.

The consultancy contract for the 500KV D/C transmission line has been awarded to Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO)

The Dasu hydropower project (DHP), a 4,320MW hydropower plant, is located downstream of the Diamer Basha Dam by approximately 74km, upstream of the Tarbela Dam by 240km, and around 345km from the capital Islamabad.

This is a run-of-the-river hydropower project under development in two stages by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). It is part of the Vision 2025 envisaged by WAPDA in 2001 and the Power Policy 2013 of the Government of Pakistan (GOP).

A total of 12 hydropower units rated at 360 MW each will be installed, the first phase includes six and six in the second phase.

Phase one's annual output capacity will be 12,300 GWh, while phase two completion would extend it to 21,700 GWh.


A feasibility study for the project was completed in 2009, and initial construction works for phase one were commenced in May 2015. The main dam's construction works began in mid-2017, with phase one scheduled to be online by 2023.

The first phase primarily involves constructing a roller-compacted concrete (RCC) gravity dam with ancillary structures and an underground powerhouse, installing six turbo generators, and a double-circuit 500kVtransmission line.

The second phase will involve constructing a second underground powerhouse with ancillary structures and installing the remaining turbo units and a double-circuit transmission line of 500kV.

In phase one, preliminary project activities include the relocation of 62 km of the Karakorum Highway to a higher elevation, 81 km of right bank access roads, a 45 km-long, 132kV transmission line from the Duber Khwar hydropower plant to Dasu, land acquisition, construction of accommodation facilities, and development of settlement sites.

Other ancillary activities involve the construction of access roads, bridges, tunnels, and offices.

Currently, land acquisition and phase one construction works are underway. WAPDA plans to acquire a total of 9,970 acres of land, out of which 2,029 acres are planned for main civil works construction. As of October 2018, more than 741 acres were acquired.

Construction of right bank access roads, relocation of Karakoram Highway (KKH), construction of transmission line and grid station, and diversion tunnel inlets was underway as of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Dasu RCC dam design details The RCC dam will have a height of 242m and a crest length of 570m. It will integrate eight spillway gates, nine low-level outlets, two circular flushing tunnels, two circular headrace tunnels, four D-shaped tailrace tunnels, and two cofferdams. Francis turbines will be installed at the plant site.

The dam's reservoir will be 74km-long and 365m-wide, with a storage capacity of 1,410 million cubic meters.

Grid connection details

The project's output will be transferred to Islamabad via Mansehra for connection with the national grid via a 500KV D/C transmission line.

Construction of the transmission line and the facility's subsequent operation are performed by NTDCL National Transmission and Despatch Company. Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO)is responsible for consultancy for designing, engineering, and construction supervision.

"The reservoir created by the dam will be 74km-long and 365m-wide, with a storage capacity of 1,410 million m³."

Contractors on the Project

NTDCL (ACE) carried out the feasibility study for the project was conducted jointly with NESPAK National Engineering Services Pakistan, Montgomery Watson Harza Energy and Infrastructure, Colenco Power Engineering, Dolsar, as well as Binnie and Partners.

Detailed engineering and consulting services for the project are provided by Nippon Koei and CGGC; China is the leading civil contractor.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is relocating a 25km stretch of Karakorum highway from Dasu town to Kaigah, and constructing a 12km stretch of the right bank access road from Komila to the dam site.

$36m (Rs4.9bn) contract for constructing the colony at the site and linked infrastructure such as water supply and water treatment works, electrification of the colony, and roads were awarded to China Gansu International Corporation for Economic and Technical Cooperation (CGICOP).

Power China is constructing the 132kV transmission line from Duber Khwar HPP to Dasu.

Financing for phase one

An estimated investment of $4.3bn is required for phase one of the Dasu hydropower project. The World Bank WB is facilitating in phase one with a credit of $588.4m from the International Development Association (IDA) and $460m of IDA Partial Credit Guarantee (PCG).

HBL led a consortium of local banks and extended financing of Rs144bn ($1.03bn). The first chunk of which was released in May 2017. Credit Issue Bank agreed to offer $350m, of which the first tranche of $188m was released in June 2017. A $2bn commercial loan is suggested to be obtained from local and foreign banks by utilizing the World Bank's PCG.

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