ISLAMABAD, (Xinhua) — Pakistan’s first tunnel constructed by tunnel boring machines TBM welcomed its breakthrough on Sunday at the Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project built by China Gezhouba (Group) Corporation (CGGC) in the countrys northern part.
The breakthrough of the tunnel, the left one of two tunnels of the project, marked a major step toward the completion of the project. The two tunnels aim to divert water from rivers of Neelum and Jhelum to the projects generating sets.
The hydropower plant is expected to have a total capacity of up to 969 megawatt and accounts for about 12 percent of Pakistans hydropower output, with a financial revenue of 45 billion rupees (about 429.4 million U.S. dollars) brought to the country.
The tunnel was constructed since January 2013 with 10.43 kilometers in length. Another tunnel, or the right one, is also about to be completed.
Chairman of Pakistans Water and Power Development Authority Muzammil Hussain said during a ceremony that the tunnels breakthrough is a critical milestone since the Neelum-Jhelum project has been prioritized by the Pakistani government to relieve the countrys power shortage.