Saturday, July 6, 2019

Pakistan Ramps Up Nuclear Power to Boost Low-Carbon Electricity

Construction of 1,100 MW nuclear power reactor K2 unit in Karachi has been completed by China National Nuclear Corporation, according to media reports. A similar reactor unit K3 will add another 1,100 MW of nuclear power to the grid, bringing the total nuclear power installed capacity of Pakistan to 3,630 MW (12% of total power) by 2022.  Hualong One reactors being installed in Pakistan are based on improved Westinghouse AP1000 design which is far safer than Chernobyl and Fukushima plants.  In addition, Pakistan is also generating  9,389  MW (about 28% of total power) of low-carbon hydroelectric power in response to rising concerns about climate change.

Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP):

With the placement of the outer containment shell, K2 is  now ready for containment and heat tests. It is scheduled to begin operations in 2020. It’s built using the Chinese HPR1000 technology, which features a dual containment design, with the outer containment providing additional protection for the primary containment.

Karachi Nuclear Power Plant K2 Unit Under Construction. Source: CNNC

KANUPP is Pakistan's first nuclear power plant where construction started in 1966 in Karachi. The plant was connected to the national grid on 18 October 1972. KANUPP, a pressurized heavy water reactor of 137 MW gross capacity was constructed by Canadian General Electric under a turnkey contract. In 1976, vendor support for spare parts and fuel was withdrawn. The PAEC undertook the task of indigenously manufacturing the required spare parts and nuclear fuel on an emergency basis and, since 1980, KANUPP has successfully operated using fuel manufactured by the PAEC, according to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Here is an except of IAEA's 2018 report on nuclear power in Pakistan:

"Despite the keen interest of Pakistan in building additional nuclear plants, it took more than two decades before the second nuclear power plant started construction. This delay was due to Pakistan’s lack of access to international nuclear technology coupled with a lack of indigenous industrial infrastructure. The construction of Pakistan’s second nuclear plant, C-1, a pressurized water reactor (PWR), was made possible in 1993 with the help of the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). The plant was connected to the national grid on 13 June 2000 and has a gross capacity of 325 MW. A third nuclear power plant, C-2, with 325 MW gross capacity started commercial operation on 18 May 2011. The fourth unit, C-3, started commercial operation on 6 December 2016. It has a gross capacity of 340 MW and a similar plant, C-4, sited beside C-3, was connected to the grid on 25 June 2017. The first concrete pours to mark the start of construction of Karachi Coastal Power Project, a project containing two nuclear units, K-2 and K-3 (1100 MW each), based on an improved PWR design, were 20 August 2015 and 31 May 2016, respectively."

International Energy Agency:

International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently warned that "steep decline in nuclear power would threaten energy security and climate goals". "With nuclear power facing an uncertain future in many countries, the world risks a steep decline in its use in advanced economies that could result in billions of tonnes of additional carbon emissions", the IEA has said.

Nuclear is the second-largest low-carbon power source in the world today, accounting for 10% of global electricity generation. It is second only to hydropower at 16%, according to International Energy Agency (IEA). Pakistan nuclear plants are expected to generate 3,630 MW  (12% of total power vs 10% global average) by 2022.  Pakistan is also generating  9,389  MW (about 28% of total power vs 16% global average) of low-carbon hydroelectric power in response to rising concerns about climate change.

Nuclear Plant Safety Concerns:

Activists in Pakistan have raised serious concerns about potential risks from K2 and K3 plants to the population in Karachi. Are such concerns valid?

The worst nuclear disaster in the history of nuclear power generation was at Chernobyl in present day Ukraine. One of the key reasons was that the Chernobyl plant did not have the fortified containment structure common to most nuclear power plants elsewhere in the world. KANUPP K-2 and K-3 reactors have two containment shells: primary and secondary. It is noteworthy that Bhopal Union Carbide disaster was history's worst industrial disaster, far bigger in terms of human toll than the Chernobyl disaster.

China signed a technology transfer deal with the United States in 2006 that put the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor design at the “core” of its atomic energy program. Chinese reactor manufacturers also resolved to build advanced third-generation technology in their safety review after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

Unlike Fukushima where underground emergency cooling system failed due to flooding, the Hualong One design stores water above the reactor that can be gravity-fed to keep it cool if the pumps fail in the event of meltdown. The Chinese HPR1000 reactors employ multiple redundant generators and cooling systems to lower meltdown risk.

Hydropower Generation:

The biggest and most important source of low-carbon energy in Pakistan is its hydroelectric power plants. Pakistan ranked third in the world by adding nearly 2,500 MW of hydropower in 2018, according to Hydropower Status Report 2019.  China added the most capacity with the installation of 8,540 megawatts, followed by Brazil (3,866 MW), Pakistan (2,487 MW), Turkey (1,085 MW), Angola (668 MW), Tajikistan (605 MW), Ecuador (556 MW), India (535 MW), Norway (419 MW) and Canada (401 MW).

New Installed Hydroelectric Power Capacity in 2018. Source: Hydroworld.com

Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) says commissioning of the 108-MW Golen Gol 2, 1,410-MW Tarbela 4th Extension and 969-MW Neelum Jhelum hydropower projects in 2018 boosted its hydroelectric generating capacity of 9,389 MW, an increase of 36% in just one year, according to Hydro Review. Hydropower now makes up about 28% of the total installed capacity of 33,836 MW as of February, 2019.   WAPDA reports contributing 25.63 billion units of hydroelectricity to the national grid during the year, “despite the fact that water flows in 2018 remained historically low.” This contribution “greatly helped the country in meeting electricity needs and lowering the electricity tariff for the consumers.”

Top 20 Countries by Newly Installed Hydropower Capacity. Source: IHA

Pakistan has the potential to generate 59,000 MW of hydropower, according to studies conducted by the nation's Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Currently, it's generating only 9,389 MW of hydroelectric power, about 16% of the estimated potential. Media reports indicate that China is prepared to finance and build another 40,000MW capacity as part of the development of the Northern Indus Cascade region which begins in Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan and runs through to Tarbela, the site of Pakistan’s biggest dam, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistan has made only a small contribution to climate change through carbon emissions.  And yet, it counts among the dozen or so nations considered most vulnerable to its damaging effects. These include rising temperatures, recurring cycles of floods and droughts and resulting disruption in food production.

Summary: 

Construction of 1,100 MW nuclear power reactor K2 unit in Karachi has been completed by China National Nuclear Corporation, according to media reports. A similar reactor unit K3 will add another 1,100 MW of nuclear power to the grid, bringing the total nuclear power installed capacity of Pakistan to 3,630 MW (12% of total power) by 2022.  Hualong One reactors being installed in Pakistan are based on improved Westinghouse AP1000 design which is far safer than Chernobyl and Fukushima plants.  In addition, Pakistan is also generating  9,389  MW (about 28% of total power) of low-carbon hydroelectric power in response to rising concerns about climate change. One of the ways Pakistan can help reduce carbon emissions is by realizing its full nuclear and hydroelectric power potential by building more nuclear plants and dams. The development of the Northern Indus Cascade region to generate 40,000MW of hydropower is a significant part of this effort.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Nuclear Power in Pakistan

Recurring Cycles of Drought and Floods in Pakistan

Pakistan's Response to Climate Change

Massive Oil and Gas Discovery in Pakistan: Hype vs Reality

Renewable Energy for Pakistan

Digital BRI: China and Pakistan Building Fiber, 5G Networks

LNG Imports in Pakistan

Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Ownership of Appliances and Vehicles in Pakistan

CPEC Transforming Pakistan

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry Boom

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

3 comments:

MB said...

Do you think Pakistan should also invest in solar and wind based electrical sources? I think a countries energy source should be treated like money and should be invested in different ventures. It can also give Pakistan a chance to dip its feet into RnD.

Riaz Haq said...

MB: " Do you think Pakistan should also invest in solar and wind based electrical sources?"

Pakistan to set 30 percent plus 30 percent Renewable Energy Target by 2030

The new government in Pakistan plans to increase the share of renewable energy in total power generation to 30 percent by 2030, particularly power from wind, solar, small hydro and biomass, with an additional 30 percent from large scale hydropower.

https://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/panorama/pakistan-to-set-30-percent-plus-30-20190403

Currently, the share of renewable energy stands at a meagre 4 percent, despite the fact that the country holds huge renewable energy potential particularly wind and solar. Large hydro currently provides around a fourth of the country’s electricity supply.

During the last week of February, The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE), chaired by the Finance Minister, approved proposals from the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) for all future renewable energy projects to be treated under the Renewable Energy Policy 2019. The new policy, whose guiding principles have already been approved by CCoE, is being reviewed by different stakeholders and will be formally taken by CCoE later.

CCoE decided to permit renewable energy projects possessing a letter of support from the Alternative Energy Development Board to proceed towards achieving their required milestones in accordance with the Renewable Energy Policy 2006. The decision marks a positive effort by the government, which favours future renewable energy deployment. The Power Minister announced last week that the country will raise the share of renewable energy in the total power mix to 30 percent by 2030. The government also plans to increase the share of hydro power to 30 percent by the same period. This would translate into 60 percent overall share of renewable energy in the total power mix of the country. The targets set by the government are significant and in line with international climate change commitments, setting an example for other developing countries to follow.

“It is quite encouraging to observe that the government plans to set higher targets for renewable energy deployment for which he have been advocating for over a decade now” said Air Marshall Shahid Hamid (Retd.), Honorary Vice President of WWEA and Chair of WWEA Pakistan. “The main mission of WWEA Pakistan Office is to create a bridge between the efforts of the government, the private sector and development partners to advance renewable energy development in the country and beyond. WWEA will play its part in establishing concrete roadmap for smooth transition towards achieving the target of 30 percent renewable energy in Pakistan by 2030.”

The announcement comes against the backdrop of WWEA’s successful 17th World Wind Energy Conference that was organised in November 2018 in Karachi where more than 600 participants from 30 countries participated. The conference objectives included, inter alia, reviving blocked renewable energy projects in Pakistan and asking the government to set a fresh trajectory for renewable energy development in the country to meet its growing energy demands without aggravating climate change risks.

The government’s plan to generate around 18,000 MW of renewable energy by 2030 could hit a roadblock in the shape of a pipeline of more than 5 GW of coal fired projects. The previous renewable energy policy of 2006 provided multiple incentives to the private sector to develop renewable energy projects. However, the policy stopped short of achieving desirable results due to the absence of an action plan complementing the policy framework. The new policy should follow a strategic plan of action by creating a favourable environment for coordination mechanism between various departments dealing the renewable energy sector.

Riaz Haq said...

Special instruction issued for promotion of Solar Energy, Net-Metering

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/490951-special-instruction-issued-for-promotion-of-solar-energy-net-metering

Power Division has issued special instructions to all DISCOs for promoting and further easing installation of net-metering in order to provide opportunity to all electricity consumers to curtail their monthly electricity bills besides optimal utilization of solar potential of the country.

The instructions were issued on Friday during one-point agenda on net-metering meeting of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA).

As per the latest instructions, all the DISCOs have been directed to establish one window for interested net-metering electricity consumers. The appointment of focal persons will in this regard be ensured besides their active engagement on targets assigned by the Power Division.

Each officer at operational level will be assigned targets of net-metering which will be properly monitored. These targets and their results will count for greater points during their assessment for promotion and other benefits.

All the DISCOs are further directed to ensure proper briefing of consumers during open katcheris by the respective Superintending Engineers, XEN and SDOs.

All the DISCOs will also run a comprehensive awareness campaign for educating the consumers regarding benefits of net-metering.

The meeting while emphasizing the importance of net-metering in order to tap the solar energy potential of the country, also underscored the need to extend all out facilitation to the consumers by the DISCOs.

It was noted that although the rules and regulation for net-metering are adequate, however, the practical steps taken by DISCOs are not enough to promote it in order to fully and optimally utilize the potential.

It was further directed to strictly monitor all targets in this regard.

Earlier, the meeting was informed that a total of around 900 MW solar panels have been imported in the country. There are 1,190 electricity consumers with a cumulative capacity of 26MW who have installed net-metering so far.