Pakistan to buy two nuclear power plants from China

Published: November 11, 2011
Joint study will be conducted to finalise modifications in plant design.  PHOTO: FILE

Joint study will be conducted to finalise modifications in plant design. PHOTO: FILE


Pakistan has planned to purchase two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts from China, which will be utilised for setting up Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-2 (Kanupp-2) and Kanupp-3 and help mitigate the energy crisis.

According to documents available with The Express Tribune, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) are likely to enter into an agreement to conduct a joint study to finalise design modifications, which would enable Pakistan to acquire two nuclear power plants, each having power generation capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

After completion of this project, a contract for establishing Kanupp-2 and Kanupp-3 will be negotiated.

The Planning Commission has said CNNC may be asked to grant intellectual property rights for the existing 1,000-megawatt plant and suggest steps which could help Pakistan avoid violation of property rights.

China has three state-owned corporations, which can own and operate nuclear power plants, including China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC) and China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC).

CGNPC currently operates four nuclear power plants of 3,758 megawatts in China and also involved in 16 other projects having capacity of 25,000 megawatts, which are under construction. The company’s focus has been on three-loop 1,000-megawatt plants.

The Planning Commission also questioned whether PAEC had approached the three nuclear power plant developers in order to ensure fair competition in offering the plants. “Moreover comparison of intellectual property rights of other nuclear power plant vendors may also be brought out,” the commission said.

In an attempt to increase power generation capacity, the government focuses on developing nuclear energy on a relatively bigger scale. Accordingly, the Energy Security Action Plan has envisaged increasing the share of nuclear power by installing 8,800-megawatt nuclear power plants by 2030.

The import of nuclear power plants will lead to electricity generation at cheaper rates compared to the thermal source, contributing to tackling the power crisis. About a month ago, power shortages reached their peak at around 8,000 to 8,500 megawatts, forcing long hours of outages across the country.

The load-shedding has disrupted industrial activity, denting overall economic growth of the country, which stood at 2.4 per cent last fiscal year.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th,  2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (26)

  • Nov 11, 2011 - 10:46AM

    OK lets see what happens now, I really hope that this plan works out.


  • Ahmer Ali
    Nov 11, 2011 - 10:52AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is the real courage and bravery which is being shown despite facing the opposition of US’ officials to deal with China in energy sector and over coming the energy crisis has been the need of the hour but provided that the biggest question rises that how long our leaders would resist and withstand against the US’ officials’ objections and interference for Pakistan’s energy crisis’ over coming.


  • Uncut
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:09AM

    Pakistan finally decided it, such initiatives are apprecited, people don;t want to die without electricity, cheers


  • Organization of Pure Profit
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:11AM

    Two Jugs, check please. Sealed Bids, Yes please. I like the way Pakistan is moving, investing in Nuclear technology, cheap power, Steel Mills, stuff that is important for an economy in need of injections. These moves will create more capacity to produce, more production means, more cash, more cash means, more taxes to the government, more taxes to the government means, more spending on public education and health sectors, and of course the security apparatus, i.e. more stable pillars of an ever progressive Pakistani society.


  • Cautious
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:12AM

    The operative word is “buy” — so how are you going to pay for these nuclear reactors?


  • antanu g
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:57AM

    if you dont know….plz be informed international trade is not always conducted in cash only.


  • Pundit
    Nov 11, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Lets play the Chinese against the Russians…:)


  • Muhammad Ali
    Nov 11, 2011 - 12:28PM

    U need to give complete picture… What is the status of old Nuclear Power Plants, what about the two plants that are already promised and on which the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) lead by US has issues and what will be the cost?

    By when they are planning to setup these plants… etc etc.Recommend

  • MarkH
    Nov 11, 2011 - 1:22PM

    @Ahmer Ali:
    What are you talking about? That scenario doesn’t even exist outside your imagination.


  • Remember Fukushima
    Nov 11, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Two new, big, Chinese nuclear plants near a mega city. Are they nuts?.


  • hamid
    Nov 11, 2011 - 2:36PM

    I am glad we are neighbours of China.


  • Pundit
    Nov 11, 2011 - 3:31PM

    “Pakistan has planned to purchase two nuclear power plants ”
    ‘has planned’? present tense with past tense…wah wah…

    Also such clever drafting….not even a target date for start up is mentioned.

    If Neelum Jhelum is any indication………

    Power Plants in Pakistan are like Mango trees…one plants them only for the next generation.


  • Ghaznavi
    Nov 11, 2011 - 4:52PM

    @ Cautious

    Why are you interested in where the money comes from??

    Indians obsession with pakistan will never end. You guys just dont mind your own business, always interfering in other affairs.Recommend

  • Nasir
    Nov 11, 2011 - 5:50PM

    We need this now – cannot let it turn into another pipeline or hydro dam dream which we planned 15 years ago and still have not started or completed – Action please not empty words


  • Nov 11, 2011 - 5:58PM

    Power game being going on,
    power plant, it will take more time,
    then a super power in the way as snag.
    Iranian has extend hand of cooperation but the fear to hold,
    America may be take notice.

    China is also a super power,
    it is not only a super power but also a good friend,
    there is hypocrisy there is reality,true friend, time tested ,
    in case he has promised,would see he fulfilled.


  • antanu g
    Nov 11, 2011 - 6:29PM

    Russians have also came on board…if your memory is not very short.


  • Pundit
    Nov 11, 2011 - 6:49PM

    “Accordingly, the Energy Security Action Plan has envisaged increasing the share of nuclear power by installing 8,800-megawatt nuclear power plants by 2030.”

    I challenge this statement.

    If the 8000 MW Diamer Bhasha Dam comes up before 2030 then hydroelectricity would be the major component of energy generation . And the share of nuclear enerfy would fall.


  • Kamran
    Nov 11, 2011 - 7:30PM

    Lovely Free Nuke Plants. Love it when we get everything for free.


  • A.Khan
    Nov 11, 2011 - 8:00PM

    This is the need of the day to cooperate with China and Russia.


  • fahim
    Nov 11, 2011 - 11:50PM

    @Ghaznavi: Cautious do have a point. Its clear that we dont have cash as we go begging all over the world. As there are no free meals in the world, these investments will have to be payed in “other” ways including say giving greater market access, selling more national assets at super low costs to chinese, or long term low interest loans which ultimately harm us, as chinese not only reap monitory profits, but gets dictating power in management. Not to forget 70% of the equipments and labor will be from china, contributing to their economy. Let there be no doubt that being self sufficient is the best policy. Unfortunately we have never stood on our feet in last 60 yrs in any field. We simply bark loud standing on the shoulder of US or China.


  • Cautious
    Nov 12, 2011 - 1:15AM

    When you start to experience brownouts and your politicians start to pronounce a major major projects every other week you have to wonder whether this is something actually in the pipeline or just more political smoke. Need I remind you that in recent weeks you have had announcements of major gas deals with Iran and Turkmenistan – yet no one has even completed an economic feasibility study let alone started construction. You have had major pronouncements about the Thar Coal fields yet once again people gloss over the fact that most of those reserves cannot be accessed without using technology that hasn’t been perfected.
    So I ask you – doesn’t anyone in Pakistan raise an eyebrow when these announcements come forth? Doesn’t anyone ask any hard questions such as where is the money going to come from to build the projects or even buy the energy produced by these projects. You don’t have sufficient power production — but you also don’t have money to provide fuel to your existing facilities — it’s the elephant in the room that no one seems to notice?


  • Raj - USA
    Nov 12, 2011 - 1:33AM

    Part of Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas and FATA will be traded for the nuclear plants. Part of Azad kashmir was already gifted to China years ago in exchange of nuclear bomb. Chinese are already scouting FATA, Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir to evaluate and place a value on these properties. So don’t worry on payments. Baluchistan is also a vast area that could be offered but Chinese are not interested in Gwadar port at this time.


  • Ahmer Ali
    Nov 12, 2011 - 10:03AM

    Open your mind and views and see the US’ leaders’ prejudicial attitude with Pakistan because every time when Pakistan tried to deal with China and especially Iran to over come power crisis then US’ leaders openly oppose it and tried to threat Pakistan to not to do any agreement with China or Iran and especially US’ leaders’ opposition was seen when Pakistan signed a gas pipeline agreement with Iran.In this condition if you can’t understand the realities then your thoughts and opinions are incurable.


  • Nov 12, 2011 - 10:21PM

    This is welcome news, but what Pakistan really needs now is serious longer term power sector reform to attract greater investment.

  • Me Tarzan
    Nov 13, 2011 - 12:09AM

    And now the statement by the Superman Zardari that 500 MW of electricity will come from Wind…..more like flatulence .

    PPP has realized that post elections it would be out of office so launching pipe dreams is something that it can get away with.


  • Pundit
    Nov 15, 2011 - 7:16PM

    “BEIJING: The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday it was unaware of any move by a Chinese company to build nuclear plants in Pakistan. A ministry spokesman said he had no information about China helping Pakistan to build two more nuclear power plants apart from the ones it already has built.

    “I haven’t heard about that and have no information to provide,” the spokesman Liu Weimin said in reply to a question about reports that Pakistan was buying two nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts from China for its Karachi Nuclear Power Plant-2 ( Kanupp-2) and Kanupp-3 from the China National Nuclear Corporation.

    “May be you have more information than I have,” he said. It was difficult to determine if the foreign ministry’s response meant that China was indeed not involved in any sales talks for selling additional sets of nuclear power plants to Pakistan. Chinese officials have denied sales of nuclear plants and material to Pakistan in the past, and later confirmed such reports after a period of time.

    Liu said China’s past investments in nuclear power in Pakistan have been conducted in the light of international regulations, and with the approval of the International Atomic Research Agency.



More in Pakistan