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.
Addressing 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 which led to the completion of the project.
The premier said the staff of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission who contributed to the project would be invited to the Prime Minister’s Office for public recognition.
Shehbaz said in view of the $27 billion energy import bill, Pakistan required alternative and cheaper sources of energy including solar, wind, hydel and nuclear.
He said Pakistan was gifted with enormous resources with the potential of producing 60,000 megawatts through hydel power, however, regretted that the power generation stood merely at 10,000 megawatts.
Shehbaz also 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.
Director General International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi, in a video message, emphasised the importance of using safe use of nuclear energy as Pakistan faced challenges of climate change.
Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Raja Ali Raza Anwar said National Electric Power Regulatory Authority had declared KANUP as a high power producing facility with its 27.15 percent production.
With the introduction of K-3 into the national grid, the share of nuclear power in the energy mix of Pakistan will exceed 10 per cent, according to a press release.
A new era in the nuclear power development programme of Pakistan commenced with the signing of the ‘Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy’ between the governments of China and Pakistan in 1986.
However, the first concrete step was taken 30 years ago when China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) signed the contract for the construction and installation of a 325-megawatt Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) at Chashma on December 31, 1991.
The cooperation strengthened with the construction of three more nuclear power plants at Chashma Nuclear Power Generation Station (CNPGS) site. The contract for the construction of two more units having a generation capacity of 1100 megawatts each near Karachi was signed on February 18, 2013.