Wednesday December 06, 2023

PM opens country’s fifth nuclear power plant

September 09, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday inaugurated the country’s fifth nuclear power plant at Chashma developed in collaboration with China. 

The prime minister said at the inauguration ceremony that the fruits of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had started reaching the people. He announced that power loadshedding would be consigned to history in November this year as energy projects of more than 10,000MW had helped overcome it. The prime minister revealed that the Chinese government had shown a keen interest in injecting more funds in various projects under CPEC. He reminded that the government is desirous of greater participation of the private sector in the CPEC projects.

Prime Minister Abbasi paid rich tribute to his predecessor Nawaz Sharif for initiating efforts to overcome the energy shortages in the country which proved to be a success story. He said that energy projects of more than 10,000MW had helped overcome loadshedding and the government will be able to end it by November this year. The inaugural ceremony of Chashma-4 nuclear power plant having capacity of 340MW in Mianwali was attended by federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Abid Sher Ali, scientists and engineers in large number. 

The premier said the government is committed to achieving the goal of adding 8,800 megawatts nuclear energy to the national grid by 2030. He said overcoming the energy crisis and an end to loadshedding remains the top priority of the government. He said the nuclear power plants in the country have contributed immensely in provision of cheap electricity. Referring to rgw Pakistan-China collaboration and CPEC projects, the prime minister said the fruits of endeavours have started reaching people with a network of roads being spread across the country and the development of Gwadar and Thar Coal. He said Pakistan has put in place a reliable nuclear power project and all these projects were fully complied with the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He said all the future nuclear power plants are also being constructed under the same guidelines. 

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said three nuclear power projects were already operational and they were providing less expensive electricity. He said it is a matter of satisfaction that K-2 and K-3 power plants in Karachi were being completed at a fast pace, and would provide inexpensive and clean energy. He said Pakistan was proud to indigenously operate the plants under the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUP) for four decades without any foreign assistance. He lauded the contributions of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in power generation, health and agriculture and said the PML-N government had initiated large projects with China under CPEC and its benefits were having a trickledown effect. He said progress is visible on projects of roads, Thar Coal and Gwadar, while GDP has risen to over 5 percent and hoped that it would be 6 percent next year. 

Pakistan is one of the few developing countries pursuing nuclear energy as it seeks to close an electricity shortfall that can stretch up to 7,000MW in peak summer months, or around 32 percent of the total demand. The 340MW Chashma-IV reactor, located some 250 kilometres from Mianwali, is the fourth built as part of collaboration between the PAEC and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The previous power plant was inaugurated in December by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “Ending loadshedding is the highest priority of our government and the power projects of 10,000 megawatts would be completed by next June,” Abbasi said. 

“We will be able to end loadshedding by November 2017,” he said, adding that the nuclear power plants were efficient and safe and under international safeguards. He said the economic growth rate had surpassed the 5 percent mark and it will reach up to 6 percent this year because many new power projects had begun producing electricity and several were nearing completion. 

Prime Minister Abbasi said that Chashma nuclear projects would help the country's energy problem. The units, C-1, C-2 and C-3 have already been successfully contributing to the national grid, he said, adding that two large nuclear power plants, K-2 and K-3, were also under construction that he hoped would be operational soon. Abbasi said the nuclear plants produce economical electricity. He said more power generation projects would be launched in Chashma and Muzaffarabad. The prime minister thanked China for its cooperation and said the projects could not have been completed without the support of Chinese people and the government.