Pak-China nuclear cooperation to help country meet energy shortfall

KARACHI: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday noting the excellent cooperation between Pakistan and China in peaceful use of nuclear energy said it would help the country meet its energy shortfall.

Inaugurating the concrete pouring ceremony of the Nuclear Power Plant-II, the Prime Minister said he was pleased to note the pace of progress as he had performed the ground breaking of Kanupp-2 and Kanupp-3 in Nov 2013.

The event was attended by Governor, Chief Minister Sindh, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

He said the event was significant as it showed the close collaboration between Pakistan and China in all areas, particularly in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy.

He said it was during his previous government that Pakistan and China initiated cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear power through the construction of Chashma Nuclear-I.

He said it was the continuity of this cooperation that has led to addition of more nuclear power plants in the country with the Chinese cooperation.

He said under the China National Nuclear Corporation Chashma III and IV would start producing 630 MW more electricity by next year. He said Kanupp was successfully generating electricity over the past 43 years and contributing to national economy.

Prime Minister said he was grateful to China’s Atomic Energy Authority, Export Import Bank of China and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) for its support to Pakistan.

He said Pakistan’s economic indicators were positive, investors confidence has been restored, country’s image has been improved internationally and more people were getting employment as several new projects were being completed.

Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) was performing its assigned duty of keeping a close watch on the nuclear power plants in the country and ensuring safe operation of nuclear facilities, according to the international standards.

He congratulated the PAEC and the PNRA for their satisfactory performance and its acknowledgement by the IAEA.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the workers, staff and scientists working under the ambit of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission for their dedication, hardwork and commitment to their profession.

The Prime Minister said apart from his government’s efforts to end loadshedding, equal importance was being given to eliminate terrorism from the country. He paid tributes to late Col Shuja, the home minister of Punjab, who embraced martyrdom in a terrorist attack in Attock.

Sharif said the government remained committed in its resolve to wipe out terrorism and extremism from the country and said there would be no letup in the ongoing operations against terrorists across the country.

The Prime Minister prayed to Allah Almighty for success in the project and in government’s efforts to help it end loadshedding from the country.

The Prime Minister along with the governor, chief minister and others launched the concrete pouring of the plant.

Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Mohammad Naeen said KANUPP was under the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and meets all international safety requirements for nuclear power plants. He said the government was working under the Vision 2050 to add 40,000MW of electricity to the national grid.