Lahore : Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday inaugurated Pakistan’s fifth nuclear power plant C-4 here with a capacity of generating 340 MW of power.
The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) is pursuing its vision of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and achieved another milestone with the operation of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-4 (C-4).
The plant would be operational on trial basis and would pass through various functional and safety related tests at full power.
China Zhongyuan Engineering Company (CZEC) and PAEC personnel performed the commissioning and initial start-up of the plant to full power after which acceptance tests were performed.
With tremendous efforts of PAEC and Chinese friends, the C-4 would become operational and connected to the country’s power grid.
The Chashma nuclear power projects units, C-1, C-2 and C-3 have been successfully contributing to the national grid with an excellent performance since 2000, 2011 and 2016 respectively.
The three nuclear power plants of Chinese origin are the best performing power stations in the country, supplying over 950 MW to the national grid with availability factors of around 99 percent.
Currently, country’s four nuclear power plants KANUPP, C-1, C-2 and C-3 are operational and generating a total of 1,030 MW of power whereas with the inauguration of C-4 Chashma plant, the power supply would be further enhanced.
Two large sized nuclear power plants, K-2 and K-3 are under construction near Karachi and are scheduled to be operational in 2020 and 2021 respectively, adding another 2,200 MW to the national grid.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said the government would end power load-shedding in the country by the end of year, and complete ongoing power projects by next June.
Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the C-4, the Prime Minister said his government was committed to end electricity load-shedding and would add 10,000 MW to the national grid by end of its term.
He said C-4 was a step forward for the PAEC in achieving its target of adding 8800 MW to the national grid by the year 2020.
The Prime Minister said his government would fulfill the target, given by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to the PAEC.
He said the C-4 project started injecting power into the national grid only after a period of eight months since the operationalisation of C-3, and termed it a matter of pride for the entire nation. The three power units of Chasma were providing 900 MW of less expensive electricity, he added.
He said “The power supply situation today is much better in the country as compared to few years back.”
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi recalled that the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was in power when Pakistan entered into an agreement with China for construction of Chasma’s Unit One project and termed it the foundation for a strong Pakistan-China cooperation in civil nuclear power projects.
He said Pakistan has put in place a reliable nuclear power project and it was being ensured that all these projects fully complied with the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). All future nuclear power plants are also being constructed under the same guidelines, he added.
He said three nuclear power projects were already operational and were providing less expensive electricity.
He pointed that it was a matter of satisfaction that K-2 and K-3 power plants in Karachi were being completed at a fast pace, and would provide less expensive and clean energy.
He said Pakistan was proud to indigenously operate the plants under the Karachi Nuclear Power Project for four decades without any foreign assistance.
The Prime Minister lauded the contributions of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in power generation, health and agriculture. He said Pakistan earned precious foreign exchange through cotton crop, while 18 cancer hospitals were providing quality healthcare to people.
Shahid Khaqan also appreciated the cooperation of China in civil nuclear power generation projects and urged the Chinese companies to invest more in nuclear power projects.
“Our government has initiated large projects with China under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and its benefits are having a trickledown effect” he added.
He said progress was visible on projects of roads, Thar coal and Gwadar, while GDP has risen to over 5 per cent and hoped it would be 6 percent next year.
The government, he said, was desirous of greater participation of the private sector in the CPEC projects.
He said the Chinese government has also showed its keen interest in injecting more funds in various projects.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi thanked the Government of China, EXIM Bank of China and China Atomic Energy Commission for its support in making Pakistan self-sufficient in electricity.
The event was attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, Chairman PAEC Mohammad Naeem, Chinese ambassador Sun We Dong, DG SPD Lt Gen Mazhar Naveed and Member Power PAEC Syed Yousaf Raza, representatives of the Chinese companies and senior officials.