Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated K-3, the third unit of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanup), which will produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity. The project has been completed with assistance from China.
In his address on the occasion, the prime minister said K-3 was a step forward in cooperation with Pakistan’s trusted friend China. He congratulated the scientists and workers of Pakistan and China who strove for completion of the project. He said the staff of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), who contributed to the project, would be invited to the Prime Minister’s Office for public recognition.
The prime minister said that in view of $27 billion energy import bill, Pakistan required alternative and inexpensive sources of energy, including solar, wind, hydel and nuclear. He said Pakistan was blessed with enormous resources and had the potential to produce 60,000 megawatts through hydel power. He regretted that the power generation stood merely at 10,000 megawatts.
Shehbaz recalled that the project of Kannup was finalised during the tenure of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and expressed gratitude to the Government of China for extending cooperation in this regard.
He mentioned that the electricity projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor were greatly contributing to the country’s energy demands through the production of thousands of megawatts.
The PM hoped that China, while acknowledging Pakistan’s enormous economic challenges and massive devastation caused by recent floods, would significantly reduce the per unit cost of electricity for the upcoming nuclear power plant to be set up in Pakistan.
He said that a favourable review of terms and conditions by China in this regard would enable Pakistan to sign the contract for 1,200 MWs C-5 (Chashma-5) nuclear power plant. He said that talks were underway with Chinese authorities in this regard and he expected a favourable outcome for Pakistan’s energy sector.
The prime minister told the Chinese investors that the letter of intent could be signed tomorrow if we agree on the price formula and important terms and conditions. “If you agree to a price of $2 million per megawatt, you can sign the contract now.”
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, in a video message, emphasised the importance of safe use of nuclear energy as Pakistan faced challenges of climate change.
PAEC Chairman Raja Ali Raza Anwar said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority had declared Kannup a high power producing facility with its 27.15 percent production.