Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant, built with China's assistance, goes online

Published December 28, 2016
PM Nawaz Sharif inaugurates the Chashma-III reactor in Chashma. —AFP
PM Nawaz Sharif inaugurates the Chashma-III reactor in Chashma. —AFP
The Chashma-III reactor is pictured in Chashma, some 250 kilometres southwest of capital Islamabad. —AFP
The Chashma-III reactor is pictured in Chashma, some 250 kilometres southwest of capital Islamabad. —AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday inaugurated power production from 340 megawatt Chashma-III nuclear power plant 'C-III' near Mianwali, Radio Pakistan reported.

Nawaz Sharif along with Khawaja Asif and Sartaj Aziz pose for photographs after the inaugural ceremony of Chashma-III reactor. —AFP
Nawaz Sharif along with Khawaja Asif and Sartaj Aziz pose for photographs after the inaugural ceremony of Chashma-III reactor. —AFP

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the prime minister slammed the opposition, calling on them to refrain from 'sabotaging' Pakistan's national interests.

"We shouldn't waste our time launching unnecessary protests," he said.

"Ending loadshedding is one of our top priorities," he said, reiterating his government's commitment to end loadshedding by 2018.

The power project is a joint collaboration between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation. It was executed by the PAEC under the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

PM Nawaz said the Chashma-III nuclear power plant will add 600MW to the national grid, adding that it will also help PAEC in achieving the overall target of 8,000MW. He also directed the PAEC to accelerate the production of nuclear power plants.

Officials walk before the inaugural ceremony of The Chashma-III reactor. —AFP
Officials walk before the inaugural ceremony of The Chashma-III reactor. —AFP

The premier congratulated the participants and the Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) on timely completion of the project and thanked the China Atomic Energy Authority and the Export-Import Bank of China for extending technical and financial support to the endeavour.

The Chashma-III nuclear power plant was preceded by the Chashma-I and Chashma-II power projects.

Another unit of the same capacity, Chashma-IV, is expected to be completed in the coming year. The premier expressed hope that the Chashma-IV would be completed before its deadline.

Additionally, the Karachi nuclear power projects K-II and K-III are expected to add a total of 8,800MW electricity to the national grid by 2030 as a mid-term target for the PAEC.

The prime minister said that timely completion of the K-II and K-III nuclear power plants will strengthen bilateral relations with China. He invited Chinese investors to invest in various sectors in projects that are mutually beneficial.

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