Energy leap: Breaking ground on nuclear energy

Published: November 27, 2013
Email
Nawaz Sharif performing the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the country’s biggest atomic power plant. PHOTO: PID

Nawaz Sharif performing the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the country’s biggest atomic power plant. PHOTO: PID

KARACHI: 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday launched the construction of the country’s biggest atomic power plant and vowed to pursue further projects to make nuclear energy the singular largest source.

The 2,200-megawatt plant is to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Point beach, 40 kilometres west of Karachi.

The government sees nuclear energy as a relatively low-cost solution to the problem of load-shedding that has blighted life in the country.

The prime minister termed the ground breaking of the Coastal Power Project K-2 and K-3 “a proud moment in the energy history of Pakistan”. “This is one of the first steps of our goal of racing towards a load-shedding-free Pakistan,” he told the audience at the site of the plant.

He said the project would take 72 months to complete. In the next few years, he said, he will be looking forward to laying a strong and solid foundation for the Nuclear Energy Vision 2050 that envisages nuclear power generation of about 40,000MW.

Pakistan already has three operational nuclear plants generating 740MW of power and has begun work on a fourth, in addition to the one launched on Tuesday.

The prime minister pledged to increase the nuclear-power generation capacity to 40,000MW in the long term as part of his energy plan.

The launch of the construction of this power plant is part of a string of projects, including wind energy generation of 2,500MW, CASA project that will produce 1,000MW and the Tarbela-V extension project.

A few kilometres further west of the new nuclear power project, an energy park is being built at Gaddani beach, Balochistan, with plans for 10 coal-fired power projects of 660MW each.

On the hydropower front, the government had decided to construct Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams simultaneously, besides building the Bunji dam. These dams have a power-generation capacity of 15,000MW. “We are also exploring further avenues to utilise our hydel capacity,” said the prime minister.

“I am grateful to the Chinese government for extending help and support to Pakistan in this hour of need,” he said, describing it as a momentous landmark in the history of Pak-China friendship and cooperation. “Our mutually beneficial collaboration is spread over a wide range of projects in all geographical terrains, from the heights of the Karakoram to the waters of the Arabian Sea.”

The World Nuclear Association has estimated the cost of the new project at nearly $10 billion.

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission engineers will work on the project with the assistance of China Atomic Energy Authority.

As Pakistan is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is excluded from the global trade in nuclear materials and technology and can rely only on China for help.

Meeting on law and order

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the third meeting on law and order in Karachi in the last two-and-a-half months.

It was decided that five Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs) and five special courts will be set up specifically to hear the cases of criminals and suspects arrested by the Rangers and police during the ongoing operation. “The five special courts would only hear the cases of those who have been arrested for possessing illegal weapons,” an official told The Express Tribune.

During the meeting, he was informed that around 9,000 suspects have been arrested so far, out of whom 3,000 are proclaimed offenders. The prime minister asked the Sindh chief minister and governor to enforce the Pakistan Protection Ordinance by registering cases against terrorists in the province.

Proxy prisoners

PM Nawaz was also informed about criminals released on parole during Pervez Musharraf’s tenure. “Around 35 notorious criminals were released for a few days in 2003, but since then, all are at large,” officials said. He directed Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to start the re-investigation of the cases and devise a plan to arrest these suspects who, according to law enforcers, are the driving force behind the worsening law and order situation in Karachi.

Moreover, interior ministry officials disclosed to the premier that around 41 proxy prisoners are currently housed in Karachi’s jails. The interior secretary said, “These inmates have been sent to jails in lieu of notorious criminals involved in various criminal cases. No one had a clue until the records of prisoners were verified with NADRA assistance.”

Officials claim that the Sindh chief minister assured PM Nawaz that he would verify the facts through a high-level committee and share the report with the federal government.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (24)

  • MM
    Nov 27, 2013 - 3:51AM

    We need to ensure highest level of safeguards for a nuclear project of this size located close to our largest city. I sure feel nervous after seeing what happened in Tokyo nuclear power plant after the Tsunami.

    Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Nov 27, 2013 - 4:42AM

    The World Nuclear Association has
    estimated the cost of the new project
    at nearly $10 billion.

    It’s your power plant and I assume you have a contract with the Chinese to build the thing – lets hope someone in Pakistan has done an economic feasibility study and knows the estimated cost and return on your investment. Unfortunately if the IP is any example then maybe not.

    Recommend

  • rkfrom ny
    Nov 27, 2013 - 5:06AM

    …..save it from the talibanis. first.!!!

    Recommend

  • DAJ
    Nov 27, 2013 - 5:52AM

    Yay we’re making a nuclear plant next to a city of 20 million people, what could possibly go wrong.? Fail government

    Recommend

  • Concerned
    Nov 27, 2013 - 6:51AM

    A country where Taliban are getting stronger and stae is crumbling. A one of the world’s densely populated city. A struggling economy. A region of a history of major earthquakes…. Sounds like a perfect storm in motion…

    Recommend

  • Zack
    Nov 27, 2013 - 6:56AM

    For God Sake

    What this guy doing in Shalwar Kameez,

    Recommend

  • Adil Uddin
    Nov 27, 2013 - 7:04AM

    @rkfrom ny:

    Don’t worry we will. Just mind your own business as the safety of the planet doesn’t affect you. Thank you for the concern by the way if you have one :)

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 27, 2013 - 7:15AM

    Only PML(N) government can take these important steps for the progress and prosperity of the country. PML(N) builds roads, PTI beats drivers.

    Recommend

  • Taimoor
    Nov 27, 2013 - 7:27AM

    Uhhh So how is this going to be financed. Diamer basha dam still hasn’t been paid for and we magically got an extra $10 billion dollars. Hopefully China donates it to us.

    Recommend

  • Sall90
    Nov 27, 2013 - 7:52AM

    Get Thar coal and shale gas out as well or it will be buried forever.

    Recommend

  • optimist
    Nov 27, 2013 - 8:01AM

    It is a very ambitious project. Such Mega power plants can change Pakistan for better.
    .
    Even in Tokyo nothing happened. Accidents have happened in Russian plants. You have to weight the benefits with risks.
    .
    So far, Pakistan has been running nuclear electricity plants for more than 20 years. Safety record of Pakistan has been amazing …………………………………………… Let’s not get negative without any reason!

    Recommend

  • Muslim Leaguer
    Nov 27, 2013 - 8:05AM

    This is a marvelous step towards eliminating darkness from Pakistan!!!
    We have already wasted more than 8 years in darkness and survived the mega-corruption scams of Rental Power since 2006 (introduced by dictator Musharraf and massively abused by. Raja Rental).

    Recommend

  • Shabbir
    Nov 27, 2013 - 8:14AM

    Please focus on terrorism first.. you are not giving it much priority. This and many of your other energy projects and other stuff is USELESS if we’re still trapped in terrorism.

    Recommend

  • Karachi Wala
    Nov 27, 2013 - 8:39AM

    Not sure that is a good idea. With warming oceans, the coastal areas are prone to tropical storms and cyclones. They should have built it in Punjab or Balochistan.

    Recommend

  • hbutt
    Nov 27, 2013 - 8:52AM

    @DAJ

    Its 40 km away from Karachi.

    Recommend

  • Zayyad
    Nov 27, 2013 - 9:13AM

    Friends in need are friends indeed.

    Recommend

  • fawad
    Nov 27, 2013 - 9:27AM

    A good step but we should work more on hydel powerplants and power geeration through coal. Nevertheless its good that the government is giving power generation a top priority.

    Recommend

  • intellectual.pseudo
    Nov 27, 2013 - 9:44AM

    @Zack: What is your problem if he is wearing the national dress of Pakistan. Liberal Fascist eh ? or a sickular?

    Recommend

  • Amer
    Nov 27, 2013 - 10:10AM

    I know people who work in KANNUP and the atomic energy commission, they are some of the best in Pakistan and very dedicated. May Allah give them success in this project. Ameen.

    Recommend

  • Nov 27, 2013 - 11:20AM

    This is a very good step, and should be completed within the given time period.

    Recommend

  • zxx
    Nov 27, 2013 - 2:02PM

    I dont know how the government is going to finance all these projects. With tremendous internal and external debts and weak financial fronts this project and all other Mega projects like Diamer Bahsa and Dasu Dams, will get into doldrums within initial phases. We have a prime example of Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project. It is still not yet completed!

    Recommend

  • Quaid-e-Azam
    Nov 27, 2013 - 2:49PM

    I find most of the comments about this project very naive and completely illogical. You guys need you appreciate this initiative and support PMLN for starting such projects. This project is not inside the city, it is 40km from Karachi and experts will definitely do the risk assessment before implementing nuclear energy projects.

    On the other hand, we talk a lot about government’s mismanagement or ill planning about energy and economy crises in the country, but only few are seriously and responsibly working on saving electricity and paying taxes. Large, medium and small size businesses starting from big factories in Faisalabad to a small shop in Raja Baza, very few companies have registered themselves and not feeling responsible enough to pay taxes or include themselves in tax circle.As a nation we have developed a habit of blaming our own mistakes on one person or government.

    If you want a change, then you have you start from yourself before expecting it from any government.

    Recommend

  • sterry
    Nov 28, 2013 - 1:22AM

    @Taimoor: At least positive development is now taking place under Nawaz Sharif. I don’t care where the financing comes from as long as the energy situation is being tackled. Hats off to the current government which is at least trying to do something! Why are so many Indians here posting negative comments when this news has nothing to do with them?

    Recommend

  • Hafsa Hashmey
    Nov 29, 2013 - 10:06AM

    So the Pakistani scientists and engineers to our rescue once again. We as a nation should be grateful to the scientists and engineers of PAEC for being amongst the very few organizations of our country where they actually do work for the betterment of this nation. May Allah bless our beloved motherland

    Recommend

More in Pakistan