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FUQING (China): Construction work is expected to start within weeks on the third unit at the Karachi nuclear power plant using a reactor developed by the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), according to a spokesman for the company.

A report published on the website of China Daily said the K3 plant would be built by using Hualong One, the CNNC’s third-generation nuclear reactor design.

It quoted CNNC spokesman Pan Jianming as saying it would be the second nuclear power project in Pakistan to be based on the Hualong One technology, after construction started at the K2 plant in August last year.

“Hualong One was developed based on very mature technologies and the project is going on very smoothly. It will help ease power shortages in the Karachi region after completion,” Mr Pan told a forum in Fuqing, Fujian province, where the Hualong One pilot project is based.

Mr Pan said that CNNC had been accelerating its efforts to sell the technology to other overseas buyers.

Although still in early stages, an understanding had been reached with the Algerian energy authorities for the development of a nuclear research centre, the spokesman said.

The two parties would consider using the Hualong One technology, and also discuss the possibility of developing renewable-energy projects.

Any final agreement is expected to include technical and training services, in a country that has yet to develop a nuclear power station.

The CNNC signed a framework deal last week with Sudan to build a 600-megawatt atomic reactor, its first project in the African country.

Li Zhuoqun, the deputy director of CNNC’s nuclear power division, said: “One reactor may be worth several billion dollars, but there could be deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars further down the industrial chain.”

The China National Nuclear Power, a CNNC subsidiary, currently has 14 nuclear reactors in operation, with 11 under construction in China.

By arrangement with ANN

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2016