Civil-nuclear cooperation: French govt says option can be explored at request

Published: October 3, 2013

Financing: $300m is the amount France has committed to hydropower projects in Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: French Ambassador Philippe Thiebaud has said his country is ready to consider Pakistan’s request for civil nuclear cooperation keeping in view international safeguards.

However, “we have not received any formal request from Islamabad to enhance cooperation in producing nuclear electricity.” Pakistan is working with China in the area of civil nuclear power, the ambassador said while talking to the media here on Wednesday at the first roadshow tilted “World of energy efficiency for a better Pakistan,” organised by Schneider Electric.

“It depends on Pakistan whether it takes any such decision and my country is ready to consider the request for enhancing civil nuclear cooperation in line with international obligations,” he reiterated.

The French envoy, while inaugurating the roadshow, praised Schneider Electric for introducing electricity efficiency products in Pakistan, as power conservation was more viable than increasing electricity production.

Schneider Electric is a France-based multinational corporation that specialises in electricity distribution, automation management and produces installation components for energy management.

The roadshow held under the umbrella campaign ‘Experience Efficiency’ showcased the complete energy solution portfolio of the company for all electricity consumers ranging from small domestic users to large power houses.

Responding to a question about French help to Pakistan in constructing Diamer Bhasha Dam, he said Paris was already providing assistance in setting up hydropower projects, mainly smaller ones such as Jabban hydropower project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Jagran project of over 100-megawatt capacity and Munda Dam, a comparatively bigger project.

However, he added France had not yet provided any assistance for Diamer Bhasha Dam. France was part of a consortium of development partners in a project to save up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity along with donors such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Germany and others, he said.

France has committed around $300 million of financing to hydropower projects as Pakistan is facing an energy crisis.

Schneider Electric Country President for UAE, Oman and Pakistan Benoit Dubarle stressed that the roadshow would offer a platform to identify new opportunities.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Asad Khan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 2:16AM

    Respected Ambassador,

    Unfortunately the cancellation of Nuclear Reprocessing plant in late 70s cast a dire shadow on French & Canadian trustworthiness vis a vis Pakistan Nuclear Power Generation.

    Pak is already getting ACP1000+ from China without any issues of IP.

    Sorry Ambassador, your timing is terrible but gesture is appreciable though.

    regards,

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  • Rabia
    Oct 3, 2013 - 10:38AM

    France’s willingness to give a green signal for nuclear agreement shows that Pakistan is a responsible state and international community is satisfy with the safety and security steps that are in place with the nuclear technology of Pakistan. Time has come that a nuclear discrimination must end and that Pakistan needs civil nuclear technology to sort its energy crisis. We require energy from all sources – conventional and alternate. Moreover, Pakistan fully qualifies to have full access to civil nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Also we have the expertise, manpower and infrastructure to produce civil nuclear energy.

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  • sana ali
    Oct 3, 2013 - 10:42AM

    No doubt Pakistan is currently passing through energy short fall. Considering French option will not be at bad end. If Pakistan considers French option then it will also be fruitful for both the countries. But I think China is enough in supporting the civil nuclear program of Pakistan.

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  • Russian
    Oct 3, 2013 - 12:24PM

    @Rabia Where is the green signal given here? Read the article properly, the words of ambassador means nothing. Every western country will give you a lip service on Nuclear tech when it comes to Pakistan. A responsible state? come one you gotta be joking. Every day the west is scratching its head when it comes to Iran and North Korea who got the Nuke tech from Pakistan. That will keep reminding them whenever they even consider giving a titanium steel to Pakistan let alone Nuke tech.

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  • Ahsan ali
    Oct 3, 2013 - 12:26PM

    Pakistan has been a responsible state after becoming a nuclear capable state, since its energy crises there has not been much activity to boost the economy. Beside this Pakistan has a major strategic importance in the South Asian region and the ally of world’s major powers. Initiative by France is appreciating, Pakistan should pursue with a strong policy and business offer to France for Civil nuclear technology, import of Uranium and technology.

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  • Advocate Sufyan Ali.
    Oct 3, 2013 - 4:09PM

    No doubt the statement of respect worthy ambassador is commendable, but Pakistan should not bow to his state[France] rather to strive for self-reliance policy and to continue working with all weathered, bosom friend and trustworthy partner[China]. The offer may be a scam in the garb of resolution of energy crises of Pakistan to approach nuclear technology reserves.Recommend

  • ali
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:28PM

    Unfortunately, France has been following the directions given by Washington D.C. So in 1970s US compelled France to cancel the nuclear reprocessing agreement. But still there is great opportunity for France to invest in energy sector in Pakistan. It will lead Pakistan and France to strengthen their bilateral relations.

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  • Mobeen
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:50PM

    Pakistan is energy deficient country and thus need a nondiscriminatory criteria based approach to access nuclear technology. Pakistan must be given equal rights and responsibilities in this regard. As Pakistan’s experience in the nuclear power programme provided auspicious environment to further develop nuclear power generation capacity.

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  • Natalia
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:10PM

    With the French invitation of nuclear deal, this is a positive indication for the whole world that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapons state. A country like France can also cooperate with Pakistan in particularly ‘a Nuclear Cooperation’. The time of this opportunity for nuclear cooperation comes when Indo-US nuclear deal has just been finalized. This is certainly opens lots of opportunities for Pakistan to enhance its nuclear civilian potentials. Pak-French nuclear cooperation is certainly a milestone. Pakistani government should certainly work on this French option speedily in order to get through the energy crisis. Being a front line ally with US, Pakistan has earned nothing except than the losses. Pakistan should open its spectrum to go for cooperation with different states. It is also observed that Pakistan has come across with lots of opportunities with the arrival of new government. As it is a time to sort out the energy crisis in the country as soon as possible.

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