ISLAMABAD (December 06 2008): Pakistan will get two nuclear power plants from China next year and the two countries are set to finalise the modalities of the deal by January 15, 2009. Pakistan will get two nuclear power plants, with a power generation capacity of 320 MW, to extend Chashma power project known as Chashma 3-4 costing Rs 137.3 billion.
The government has estimated the cost of each project at Rs 68.6 billion in the Public Sector Development Programmme (PSDP) 2008-09. Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Secretary Farrukh Qayyum has confirmed to the Business Recorder that Pakistan and China are currently working on the modalities of the nuclear power plant deal that would be finalised by January 15, 2009.
He said that President Asif Ali Zardari had requested nuclear power plants during his visit to China and received a favourable response. After President Zardari's visit, the concerned authorities of the two countries began work on maturing the deal. These two more nuclear power plants would generate 640 MW power. These projects will be completed in eight years.
Sources said that the Musharraf government had planned to set up four nuclear power plants with 320 MW power generation capacity each, and former President Pervez Musharraf had requested the Chinese to provide financial and technical help for setting up the four nuclear power plant during his visit to China. The government plan at the time was to set up four nuclear power plants with power generation capacity of 320 MW each, two at Chashma and two nuclear power plants of the same power generation capacity at Karachi.
President Zardari's visit to China firmed up the deal regarding the nuclear power plants. These nuclear power plants are part of the Energy Security Action Plan under which, Pakistan will increase the share of nuclear power from one per cent to 5.4 per cent by establishing 8,800 MW nuclear power plants by 2030.
In the first phase, the government is going to extend the Chashma nuclear power project by adding Chashma 3 and Chashma 4 nuclear power plants. In the second phase, the government would set up two more nuclear power plants at Karachi, each having the power generation capacity of 320 MW.
Pakistan is already getting 300 MW electricity from the Chashma nuclear power plant (C-1) and the Chashma-2, with the same capacity, is under implementation phase. The Chashma-2 is the improved version of Chashma-1 and the design of the Chashma-3 and Chashma-4 will follow the design of Chashma-2 that is under the process of completion.