Friday, January 21, 2022

Pakistan Nuclear Power Generation Soared 66% in 2021

Nuclear power plants in Pakistan generated 15,540 GWH of electricity in 2021, a jump of 66% over 2020. Overall, Pakistan's power plants produced 136,572 GWH of power, an increase of 10.6% over 2020, indicating robust economic recovery amid the COVID19 pandemic. 

Pakistan Electric Power Generation. Source: Arif Habib

Hydroelectric dams contributed 37,689 GWH of electricity or 27.6% of the total power generated, making hydropower the biggest contributor to power generated in the country. It is followed by coal (20%), LNG (19%) and nuclear (11.4%). 

Cost Per Unit of Electricity in Pakistan. Source: Arif Habib

Nuclear offers the lowest cost of fuel for electricity (one rupee per KWH) while furnace oil is the most expensive (Rs. 22.2 per KWH). 
Pakistan Electric Power Generation Fuel MiX. Source: Arif Habib

Construction of 1,100 MW nuclear power reactor K2 unit in Karachi was completed by China National Nuclear Corporation in 2019, according to media reports. Fuel is being loaded in a similar reactor unit K3 which will add another 1,100 MW of nuclear power to the grid in 2022. Chinese Hualong One reactors being installed in Pakistan are based on improved Westinghouse AP1000 design which is far safer than Chernobyl and Fukushima plants.  

The biggest and most important source of low-carbon energy in Pakistan is its hydroelectric power plants, followed by nuclear power. 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:

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.”

Pakistan's Current Account Balance vs International Oil Prices. Source: Arif Habib

Recent history shows that Pakistan's current account deficits vary with international oil prices.  Pakistan's trade deficits balloon with rising imported energy prices. One of the keys to managing external account balances lies in reducing the country's dependence on foreign oil and gas. 

Pakistan Power Generation Fuel Mix. Source: Third Pole

It is true that Pakistan has relied on imported fossil fuels to generate electricity. The cost of these expensive imported fuels like furnace oil mainly used by independent power producers (IPPs) has been and continues to be a major contributor to the "exaggerated external demand driven by its rentier economy" referred to by Atif Mian in a recent tweet. However, Pakistan has recently been adding hydronuclear and indigenous coal-fired power plants to gradually reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels. 

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Salman said...

So almost 42% (27.6+11.4+.5+2.5) of Pak electricity Gen. is renewable clean energy Nearly Zero emissions. Almost 37 % clean fuels less GHG intensive fuels (Gas,RLNG,FO) so 79% of Pak energy mix is clean fuels. 20% coal should be replaced 2 Solar Wind & Hydro in next 3 to 4 years

Jalil said...

As always, great information.
Unless I missed in this article, what was the delta vs demand a year ago and what is it now? This may not be a real measure of progress because, I am sure, the demand is growing exponentially too

Riaz Haq said...

Jalil: "I am sure, the demand is growing exponentially too"

Power generation installed capacity in Pakistan currently significantly exceeds demand.

But there are significant issues with transmission and distribution that partly limit consumption.

That's where the government is focusing now.

An 878 km long 666 KV HVDC transmission line from Matiari in Sindh to Lahore has recently been completed.

Another 133km long 500kV Neelum-Jhelum Double Circuit Transmission line has just been energized.

A lot more work is needed in improving the national grid and the distribution networks to match power generation.

Riaz Haq said...

136,000 GWH divided by 220 million equals 618 KWH per person per year

For a household of 6 persons it is 3,700 KWH per year

Riaz Haq said...

Nuclear Power in the World Today(Updated January 2022)

The first commercial nuclear power stations started operation in the 1950s.
Nuclear energy now provides about 10% of the world's electricity from about 440 power reactors.
Nuclear is the world's second largest source of low-carbon power (28% of the total in 2019).
Over 50 countries utilize nuclear energy in about 220 research reactors. In addition to research, these reactors are used for the production of medical and industrial isotopes, as well as for training.


Bangladesh started construction on the first of two planned Russian VVER-1200 reactors in 2017. Construction on the second started in 2018. It plans to have the first unit in operation by 2023. The country currently produces virtually all of its electricity from fossil fuels.China has 53 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 50.8 GWe. In 2020, nuclear generated 4.9% of the country's electricity.The country continues to dominate the market for new nuclear build. At the start of 2022, 18 of the 57 reactors under construction globally were in China. In 2018 China became the first country to commission two new designs – the AP1000 and the EPR. China is commencing export marketing of the Hualong One, a largely indigenous reactor design.The strong impetus for developing new nuclear power in China comes from the need to improve urban air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The government's stated long-term target, as outlined in its Energy Development Strategy Action Plan 2014-2020 is for 58 GWe capacity by 2020, with 30 GWe more under construction.India has 23 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 6.9 GWe. In 2020, nuclear generated 3.3% of the country's electricity.The Indian government is committed to growing its nuclear power capacity as part of its massive infrastructure development programme. The government in 2010 set an ambitious target to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity online by 2024. At the start of 2020 seven reactors were under construction in India, with a combined capacity of 5.3 GWe.Japan has 33 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 31.7 GWe. As of June 2021, 10 reactors had been brought back online, with a further 15 in the process of restart approval, following the Fukushima accident in 2011. In the past, 30% of the country's electricity has come from nuclear; in 2020, the figure was just 5.1%.South Korea has 24 operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 23.2 GWe. In 2020, nuclear generated 29.6% of the country's electricity.South Korea has four new reactors under construction domestically as well as four in the United Arab Emirates. It plans for two more, after which energy policy is uncertain. It is also involved in intense research on future reactor designs.Pakistan has five operable nuclear reactors, with a combined net capacity of 2.2 GWe. In 2020, nuclear generated 7.1% of the country's electricity. Pakistan has one Chinese Hualong One unit under construction.

samir sardana said...

Another way to look at the Power Matrix,is from the Power demand and Power compulsion angle


Gas and Liquid Fuel - For Peak Load
Hydro - Peak and Base load
Nuke - Primarily Base load
Rest - Base load

Power Compulsion

Solar,Wind need spinning power from Hydel and Gas and Liquid fuels


First - there is the need to lower peak load demand.Reducing power consumption,for each unit of production,or power consumption for consumer delight (for ACs etc.),are all cosmetic changes

Big Bang is required !

Some Industrial production (of goods),will have to be imported or taken off,the state grid - except for wheeling and banking,or industrial capacities are to be aggregated (for power efficiency),or the peak load tariff is to be hiked (for industrial and commercial applications).

The time has come for consumers,to pay a peak load tariff,for ACs etc.They have to be incentvised,to use less peak load power,especially for users of power,beyond a certain limit.This will also lead to innovation,in the design and specs of the power usage equipments,to USE LESS PEAK LOAD POWER.

Peak load demand,is also the area of the greatest power theft by consumers.Hence,these power guzzler equipments (like ACs etc.),need to have an upfront tax (to take away part of the peak load/power distribution and power factor costs).This would lead to a boom,in the "House manufacturing of ACs" - sold in cash - but this will be detected,by the power consumption,in a colony cluster.In any case,these ACs will NOT be bought by the
households making,say 15-20000 USD per annum


Y is N power not pumping more ? The Genius of AQK and the Pakistan Military,and the Mandarins of the External Affairs Ministry,is that Pakistah has a high cost power matrix - which JUSTIFIES N Power - and thus,justifies Enrichment facilities and Nuclear power generation.All this,and STILL Pakistan has he LDC status,has a weak PKR (for exports- which is a export subsidy) and also,GETS AID FROM WB,IMF,DANIDA,SDC,OECF,JICA..............That so the benefit of NOT rebasing the GDP.People in Pakistan know that,they are far better off than Dindoosthan,Lanka or Bangladesh - REBASING THE GDP,will make Pakistan a economic power,on paper - and thus,lose aid and LDC gains.

The Persians do NOT have,this luxury.They have SURPLUS HYDEL AND LIQUID FUELS,AND COAL BASED POWER ! They have NO JUSTIFICATION FOR NUCLEAR POWER - except to Nuke out Israel !

Y can Pakistan NOT import Chinese N-power plants,if necessary,with the Fuel Rods.Else,it can refine the uranium in Pakistan.PRC now has.critical control over Uranium,in Africa,and other nations.

Pakistan is destined to Nuke out every city in Dindoosthan,with a population of 5 million or more,Inshallah !.For that,it will need lots of weapons grade Uranium - which will need to be diverted from the facilities under IAEA and other facilities (o/s of the IAEA).It will also need huge qts of DU.All this will be the spin off - from the Nuclear upgrade.

But in any case,the existing N plants - have to run at MAX capacities - subject to fuel rods and maintenance.Running at full loads,provides vital empirical data,for analysis of N Power Cycle - at high stress loads,as a step of analytics - before ramping the Nuclear Pakistan.Providentially,PRC is also ramping its N capacities - and so,this is the time to cut capacity costs,of procurement.dindooohindoo

Besides,with France cut out of the Sub deal,to the Aussies - by NATO and UK,they will be glad to sell the latest Gen 4 and 5 tech to PRC - and thus,to Pakistan

Jiye Jiye Pakistan !

samir sardana said...

Part 2 of Power Supply equation

Then comes in the Coal based IPPs - which should produce,at 3-5 PKR/kwh - from Coal,which Pakistan has in abundance ! If Coal imports are viable from Mundra,they will be MORE viable,from Gwadar or Port Qasim !

The ideal solution is Hydro,as Pakistan has,probably,on a per capita basis,the highest volume of water flowing into the Sea.But the people of Pakistan,will have to sacrifice their land.

Or there are the Hydel power plants in Iran.All this fits in with the PRC core competence, in Hydro ! But the icing is Kashmir !



In addition,Pakistan needs to change the power tariffs of the Cogen power (using Bagasse) and Bio power (Rice Husk) - since the technology is Pakistani,and there is no FX outflow. The Gas and the Fuel plants,are imported,and so,are their fuels.If a detailed Eco cost of these plants,with their impact on the PKR etc., is done, the case for a higher tariff or capital subsidy,for the Cogen and Bio power sector,is made out.This will also lower the agri subsidy,as farmers can be paid more,for sugar,rice and other crops - by the mills - and the farmers,will boost output.Once farmers boost output - then large plants for Biopower, will start up - and that will solve the problems,of the current Cogen and Biipower sector (which is,disaggregated power,and lack of material supply).

The state will need to kill off the alt use of bio wastes,so that,the material costs,to the power plants,do not shoot up.


It is also time to liberate Kashmir ! With Chaiwala polls in 5 states - if there is a resurgence in Kashmir (at this juncture),Chaiwala will lose all 5 states.dindooohindoo

Riaz Haq said...

CPEC Moving Forward Despite Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic: Asim Iftikhar

Clarifying that 27 projects conceived under CPEC were at various stages of preparation and implementation, he said its ambit had been expanded to include agriculture, science and technology and IT cooperation. “Work on major infrastructure projects has [also] continued apace and a number of new mega projects have been endorsed by the JCC [Joint Cooperation Committee] of CPEC,” he said. “These include the Azad Pattan and Kohala hydropower projects, which will help address Pakistan’s food security while also ensuring access to green and cost-competitive energy for our industrial growth,” he added.

A day earlier, the Chinese foreign ministry had likewise dismissed reports of slowdown as “disinformation.”

Concerns about progress on CPEC have made headlines following the Foreign Office’s announcement that Prime Minister Imran Khan is due to visit Beijing from Feb. 3-5 to attend the launching ceremony of the Winter Olympics. According to the Foreign Office, the prime minister is also set to to meet Chinese leaders during his visit, with CPEC expected to top the agenda of discussions.


WAPDA chairman reviews progress on Dasu project

WAPDA Chairman said that Dasu Hydropower Project is of immense importance for a quantum increase in green and low-cost hydel electricity in the National Grid, therefore the project authorities must ensure achieving major construction milestones in accordance with the timelines set for the purpose. He directed the management to double their efforts for completion of the project in accordance with the stipulated time and construction standards.

Earlier, the Chairman was briefed about the progress on the project. It was apprised that the construction work is underway simultaneously on as many as eight sites which include diversion tunnels, underground powerhouse, flushing and traffic tunnel, Relocation of Karakoram Highway, right bank access roads, 132 KV transmission line, WAPDA colony and offices.

It is worth mentioning that the 4320 MW-Dasu Hydropower Project is being implemented in two stages. At present, WAPDA is working on 2160 MW-Stage-I, which will provide 12 billion green and low-cost electricity to the National Grid annually while the Stage-II will also contribute another 9 billion units to the system per annum.

Riaz Haq said...

#Nuclear #India: For Clean #Electricity, #Modi Government Plans to Double Down on #Atomic #Energy in 2022. Currently nuclear power capacity in India stands at 6,885 MW. #Coal fuels 70% of #Indian power plants. New nuclear Target: 63,000 MW Nuclear.

Despite a renewed global push for nuclear energy as a relatively cleaner source of electricity generation, the share of nuclear energy in the total electricity generation in India has remained around 3 to 3.5 per cent since 2014.

Confirming the statistics in the Parliament earlier this week, Union Atomic Energy Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that the government plans to increase this share by adding more nuclear power capacity in the country.

"The actual commercial generation has increased from 34,162 Million Units in the calendar year 2014 to 43,918 Million Units in the calendar year 2021," Singh said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

Consistent underperformance of the nuclear industry in meeting capacity targets has led the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to refer to capacity targets as aspirational. Currently, in 2022, nuclear power capacity stands at 6,885 MW as opposed to the 63,000MW target.

The Minister said that the share of nuclear power in total electricity generation depends on the production by nuclear power units compared to all other electricity-generating technologies. But the number of nuclear power plants and their capacity has remained well below desired targets over the past few decades.

Despite repeated assurance from the government and experts that nuclear power generation is safe and much cleaner than other means of electricity generation, strong opposition persists for the widespread adoption of this technology across the country. Last month to a question raised by DMK Lok Sabha member T.R.Baalu, Dr Singh said, "India has adopted a 'closed fuel cycle', where spent nuclear fuel is regarded as a material of resource," he said.

"Given the very small quantity of high-level waste generated post reprocessing and technologies for separation, partitioning and burning of waste being developed by the country, there is no need for a deep underground geological disposal facility in the near future," Singh said.

He said that India is pursuing an indigenous three-stage nuclear power programme to provide the country with long-term energy security in a sustainable manner. In addition, Light Water Reactors based on foreign cooperation are also being set up as additionalities.

"An expansion programme for nuclear power is being undertaken to provide the country with clean electricity," Dr Singh added.

The Budget 2022-23 also was in line with the government’s promise to increase the share of nuclear energy. A whopping ₹86,200.65 crores budget has been allocated to the Ministry of Atomic Energy this year in what appears to be an effort to combat carbon emissions. This is more than four times the previous allocation of ₹18,265 crores last year.

On a global level, the European Union is also drawing plans to classify nuclear power as green investments to help Europe cut carbon emissions.

Moreover, this year, the budget allocation has also gone up to ₹6,900.68 crores to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy—a jump of more than a thousand crore rupees. The funding for coal—the unsustainable fossil fuel that meets over 70% of India's electricity needs—has also sharply decreased from ₹933.60 crores in 2019 to ₹393.24 crores in 2022, hinting at a clear resolve to reduce the dependence on it.

Riaz Haq said...

2530 MW
At present, a total of 2530 MW of nuclear capacity is installed, comprising six nuclear power plants: KANUPP (originally 137 MW, de-rated to 100 MW), CHASNUPP-1 (325 MW), CHASNUPP-2 (325 MW), CHASNUPP-3 (340 MW), CHASNUPP-4 (340 MW) and KANUPP-2 (1100 MW).,%2D2%20(1100%20MW).


Pakistan plans on constructing 32 nuclear power plants by 2050 and envisions 40,000 MW of nuclear power generation.

Riaz Haq said...

61,370 MWe nuclear in France
Since June of 2020, it has 56 operable reactors totalling 61,370 MWe, one under construction (1630 MWe), and 14 shut down or in decommissioning (5,549 MWe). Électricité de France (EDF) – the country's main electricity generation and distribution company – manages the country's 56 power reactors.


France will build at least six new nuclear reactors in the decades to come, President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday, placing nuclear power at the heart of his country's drive for carbon neutrality by 2050.

Macron said the new plants would be built and operated by state-controlled energy provider EDF (EDF.PA) and that tens of billions of euros in public financing would be mobilized to finance the projects and safeguard EDF's finances.

"What our country needs, and the conditions are there, is the rebirth of France's nuclear industry," Macron said, unveiling his new nuclear strategy in the eastern industrial town of Belfort.

Promising to accelerate the development of solar and offshore wind power Macron also said he wanted to extend the lifespan of older nuclear plants in the world’s most nuclear-intensive country to more than 50 years from more than 40 years currently for certain reactors, provided it was safe.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for debt-laden EDF, which is facing delays and budget over-runs on new nuclear plants in France and Britain, and corrosion problems in some of its ageing reactors.

The nuclear blueprint cements France's commitment to nuclear power, a mainstay of the country's postwar industrial prowess but whose future was uncertain after Macron and his predecessor had promised to reduce its weight in the country's energy mix.

Riaz Haq said...

Sohail Ahmed @sohailahmedsa🇵🇰 Alhumdulillah Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) Unit-3 (K-3) is now critical.
KNPP-2 & KNPP-3 are 1100 MW each

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan power project using China’s Hualong One connected to grid - Global Times

The (1,100 MW) K-3 unit of the Karachi Nuclear Power Project in Pakistan, the fourth entity to use a China-designed third-generation nuclear reactor, was successfully connected to the grid on Friday, laying solid foundations for commercial operation.

All four of the units adopting China’s Hualong One nuclear reactor are now connected to the grid and are generating electricity, China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said in a statement on Friday.

Each Hualong One unit is expected to generate nearly 10 billion kWh of electricity annually after being completed, which can meet the annual electricity demand of more than 4 million households in Pakistan – equivalent to reducing use of standard coal by 3.12 million tons, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 8.16 million tons every year. It is also the equivalent of planting more than 70 million trees, CNNC said.

It is of great significance for optimizing Pakistan's energy structure, as well as reaching carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, CNNC added.

The success in construction and operation of the nuclear reactors in Pakistan will make the Hualong One technology better received in the global market, especially in countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, observers said.

The K-2 unit of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant in Pakistan, which also uses Hualong One, officially started commercial operation on May 20 last year.

As China's "calling card" for its nuclear power industry, Hualong One has become one of the most widely recognized third-generation nuclear power reactors in the market.

All of Hualong One’s core components are produced domestically, and it has a design life of 60 years and meets the strictest safety standards in the world, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

In May 2015, construction began on the world's first Hualong One demonstration project in Fuqing. On January 30, the world's first nuclear power unit under Hualong One, unit 5 of CNNC's Fuqing nuclear power plant, entered commercial operation.

With Hualong One online, China is now at the world forefront of third-generation nuclear technology, alongside countries like the US, France and Russia, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing CNNC Chairman Yu Jianfeng.

The commercial use of Hualong One will also help to meet China’s goal for CO2 emissions to peak before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, Yu added.

Riaz Haq said...

#Karachi 3 (K3) #nuclear #power pant begins supplying #electricity. The 1100 MWe pressurized water reactor was connected to #Pakistan national grid on 4 March. Nuclear #energy currently provides around 8% of Pakistan's energy mix from 5 working reactors

The 1100 MWe pressurised water reactor was connected to the grid at 3:33pm on 4 March, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced. It said the milestone "lays a solid foundation for the subsequent commercial operation of the unit."

Construction of Karachi 3, the second of two Hualong One units to be built near Paradise Point in the province of Sindh, began in May 2016. Karachi 2 entered commercial operation in May last year. The units are the first exports of CNNC's Hualong One, which is also promoted on the international market as HPR1000.

"After each unit of Hualong One is completed, it is expected to generate nearly 10 billion kWh of electricity annually, which can meet the annual electricity demand of more than 4 million households in Pakistan," CNNC noted. It said this is equivalent to reducing coal use by 3.12 million tonnes annually and avoiding the emission of 8.16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

CNNC said the construction of Karachi 2 and 3 has also driven the development of Pakistan's economy and related industries. The local supply of equipment in Pakistan has increased significantly, it said. "During the peak period of the project construction, it has directly provided more than 10,000 jobs for Pakistan, and indirectly created more than 40,000 jobs through the industrial chain."

The Karachi site - also sometimes referred to as KANUPP - was home to Pakistan's first nuclear power reactor, Karachi 1 - a small 100 MWe (90 MWe net) Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.

The first domestic demonstration plants of CNNC's Hualong One, or HPR1000, design are Fuqing 5 and 6, in China's Fujian province. Fuqing 5 entered commercial operation in January 2021; Fuqing 6 started up in December and was connected to the electricity grid on 1 January.

Nuclear energy currently provides around 8% of Pakistan's energy mix from five reactors: four CNNC-supplied CNP-300 pressurised water reactors at Chashma in Punjab, and Karachi 2. CNNC in 2017 signed a cooperation agreement with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on the construction of a Hualong One as a fifth unit at Chashma.

Riaz Haq said...

Fitch Affirms Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority at 'B-'; Outlook Stable

WAPDA is established under a special statute. The Authority has close operational and administrative linkage to the government and is mandated to develop water and power resources in Pakistan. The government exercise strong influence over WAPDA's corporate governance and debt, sanctioned by the government, shall be transferred to the government according to the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Act.

Status, Ownership and Control: 'Very Strong'

Our 'Very Strong' assessment of 'Status, Ownership and Control' remains unchanged, given the strong statutory support, stable government ownership - which we do not expect to change - and high level of government control. Employees of WAPDA are deemed to be public servants when acting in pursuance of WAPDA activities. The government has strong influence on WAPDA's corporate governance, including budget, accounts, financing activity and new power station investment plans, because the Authority is mandated to execute the government's responsibility of utilising Pakistan's water and power resources.

Support Track Record: 'Very Strong'

The build-up of circular debt in the energy sector exposes WAPDA to external funding. The government aims to mitigate the circular debt issue by providing financial support; it had guaranteed 22% of WAPDA's interest-bearing debt as of June 2021 and 56% of the debt comprises of government loans. The government will be liable for loans passed by the Authority with the sanction of the government under the WAPDA Act. Supportive policies, such as corporate tax exemptions, land acquisitions and a tariff mechanism, also enhance WAPDA's operational stability.

Socio-Political Implications of Default: 'Strong'

Pakistan's policies aim to boost the hydropower generation mix and reduce reliance on fossils. WAPDA's hydropower generation accounted for 27% of the generation mix in 2021, while other renewable energy only accounted for 3%. The government aims for hydro power to contribute over 40% of Pakistan's energy demand by 2030, implying that the development of hydropower generation is of significant strategic importance to the country. We believe WAPDA's installed capacity would be difficult to substitute and that any transition process would lead to severe service disruption.

Financial Implications of Default: 'Very Strong'

We deem WAPDA as a proxy financing vehicle for the government in the energy sector. The Authority still relies on the government to fund its investments, although it is expanding its borrowing capacity, including via recent bond issues. We believe the government's borrowing ability would be significantly impaired if WAPDA come under financial stress due to the high level of funding it receives from international development finance institutions and its debt mix - 78% of interest-bearing debt comprised loans or was guaranteed by the government.

Derivation Summary

WAPDA's ratings reflect our assessment of government linkage and support incentive and results in a weighted score of 50, based on our Government-Related Entities Rating Criteria. We adopt a top-down approach and equalise WAPDA's rating with those of Pakistan (B-/Stable), regardless of WAPDA's Standalone Credit Profile.

Riaz Haq said...

Soaring prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal on the international markets have left Pakistan, the world’s fifth-most populous nation, with having to cut electricity supply to households and industry as the country in a deep political and economic crisis cannot afford to buy more of the expensive fossil fuels.

Pakistan—whose population is the fifth largest in the world after China, India, the United States, and Indonesia—started to feel the pinch of high energy prices as early as last autumn, when it was struggling to procure imported LNG for its power plants. Pakistan’s predicament came amid a global natural gas crunch and surging prices for the fuel in Europe and Asia, months before prices shot up again as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As global energy prices remain elevated and highly volatile with the Russian war in Ukraine, Pakistan—dependent on imports with relatively poor state finances—is especially hard hit.

The energy crisis, and the political crisis with last week’s ousting of Imran Khan as prime minister of the country, which has nuclear weapons, have combined to throw the Pakistani state budget and finances into disarray.

Now Pakistan cannot afford to buy more LNG and coal, on which its power plants rely to generate electricity, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

In the middle of last week, on April 13, a total of 7,140 megawatts (MW) capacity plants were shut either due to fuel shortage or technical faults, Miftah Ismail tweeted. Ismail has been picked to serve as a finance minister by new Prime Minister-designate Shehbaz Sharif.

According to Bilal Kayani, Assistant Secretary General at the Pakistani party PMLN, foreign exchange reserves at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) amounted to just $10.8 billion on 8 April, a day before Imran Khan was ousted through the vote of no confidence. That’s less than 2 months of import cover. Reserves declined rapidly by $5.4 billion in just 5 weeks, Kayani said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan: Experts stress shifting to coal for energy needs

Power sector experts have emphasised upon Pakistan to push harder for utilisation of lignite - an economical alternative to imported furnace oil and RLNG (re-gasified liquefied natural gas) - as it is crucial for the country’s ambition to achieve higher economic growth through industrialisation.

Besides industrialisation, provision of electricity to domestic consumers by using local coal reserves could serve the purpose of generating cheap electricity and curbing the ever increasing circular debt in the power sector, they added. They were of the view that the incumbent coalition government, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, inherited fiscally unsustainable circular debt of nearly Rs2.5 trillion and lofty subsidies on energy prices, as well as re-surging blackouts despite surplus generation capacity. Electricity at current price is not affordable for businesses and residential consumers.

According to the government, the electricity generation cost rose by over 66% in March compared to a year ago because of the surging global energy prices.

The generation cost has surged 66.2% to Rs9.22 kWh in March this year from Rs5.55 kWh a year ago owing to spike in imported fossil fuel prices.

“Pakistan should now focus on local coal reserves for power generation as an alternate to imported fuel and coal given that its cost is much cheaper than the imported coal,” emphasised Sino-Sindh Resources Deputy CEO Chaudhary Abdul Qayyum.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Qayyum said that the local coal prices were not sensitive to international price fluctuations.

“Local coal at Thar is available for as low as $40 per ton and with rise in mine scaling, its prices will fall further to $30 a ton,” he pointed out.

“The best thing is that the government has to pay the price in local currency.”

Currently, around 16 million tons of coal is being imported by Pakistan to operate four power plants, Qayyum said adding that if these plants had been running on local coal, massive amounts of foreign exchange could have been saved by the country besides generation of cheap electricity.

He underlined that the recent commodity cycle had witnessed imported coal prices going up to $420-470 a ton from $100-120 a ton, making imported coal even more expensive than residual fuel oil (RFO) for power production.

Riaz Haq said...

Global Coal Production Capacity Rose in 2021

Natural gas shortage and China’s energy crisis have driven global coal plant production capacity to surge last year, undercutting global net zero efforts.

The global capacity of coal power plants rose by nearly 1% in 2021 as the world recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic and increased attention on energy security, according to a report by a US environmental group Global Energy Monitor (GEM).

The research found that global coal plant capacity grew 18.2 gigawatts to about 2,100 GW or about 0.87% last year.

“It’s up by a small number,” said Flora Champenois, a GEM research analyst. “But it comes at a time when the world needs a dramatic fall in capacity, not any rise.”

The small spike can be attributed to a number of new coal plants that opened in China, which just about offset all the coal plant closures around the world in a global effort to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming.

China, the world’s top emitter, has pledged to carbon peak by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. But the country has recently turned back to coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, due to its domestic energy crisis. To ensure power and heating supply for its residents, China has been increasing coal production capacity and built more than triple the amount of new coal power capacity as the rest of the world combined.

At the same time, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put the issue of energy security at the centre of the global stage, where countries including Germany have been reconsidering turning to coal again – instead of relying on nuclear power like the UK – to compensate for Russia’s natural gas.

Global demand for coal has been on the rise. In 2021, the world generated more electricity from coal than ever before, increasing 9% from the previous year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Total coal consumption, which covers electricity generation and industrial uses, is also expected to grow by another 2% in 2022. The IEA projects the high levels will likely last through to at least 2024, which is at least 3 billion tons higher than a scenario reaching net zero by 2050.

The latest IPCC climate report warns that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and be to halved by the end of the decade for a chance to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Despite rising inflation, coal will also likely remain to be one of the relatively cheapest fuels available, according to Bloomberg. However, there has been some positive trends. The report highlighted how capacity of global coal plants being built in 2021 decreased by 13%, dropping from 525 GW in 2020 to 457 GW.

Riaz Haq said...

Karot Hydropower connects unit one to national grid. It is a 720 MW plant constructed on river Jhelum, #Pakistan , in collaboration with one of the largest state-owned #Chinese power companies, #China Three Gorges Corporation. #CPEC Global Village Space

Pakistan’s first Hydel power generation project – Karot Hydropower – under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) connected unit one to the national grid on 30 April, kick-starting the operations at full capacity, reported Developing Pakistan, a Pakistan based digital media platform. By connecting unit one of the Karot Hydropower, the project pumps 180 MW of electricity into the national grid. Karot Hydropower Project is a 720 MW constructed on river Jhelum, Pakistan, in collaboration with one of the largest state-owned Chinese power companies, the China Three Gorges Corporation, more commonly known as the CTG. The rest of the three units will be connected to the national grid in the upcoming months.

The project’s financial close was achieved in March 2017, and construction work began the same year. The mechanical, electrical, and other technical works of the project were completed around February 2022, and internal testing began in the same month. Work pertaining to transmitting power to the national grid was mostly completed by January however was not completed till April 30. The project is the first of three hydropower projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the estimated cost to get the plant operational stands at around $1.42 billion. According to the Managing Director of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board, the other two include “the 870MW Sukhi Kenari HPP and 1,124MW Kohala HPP.” Work on Sukhi Kerani is underway, whereas the construction of the Kohala Hydropower Project is yet to be initiated. The Kohala HPP is also being constructed on the Jhelum river, and a tripartite agreement was signed for its construction in June 2020; however, due to tax issues, the work on the construction site of the said river has still not begun.

It is pertinent to mention that according to the National Electric Power Regulator Authority state industry report 2021, Hydel sources of electricity generation account for 27.02 percent of the country’s electricity, significantly more than any other source except for thermal.

Separately, to address the energy demands of the country, Pakistani authorities have also engaged the World Bank to facilitate the set up of a 300 MW floating solar project at the Tarbela – Ghazi Barotha complex. The project’s projected cost is proposed to be around $346.5 million. Under the project, a 150 MW floating solar subproject will be deployed in the Ghazi Barrage headpond and another floating project of similar capacity at the Forebay of the existing Ghazi Barotha Hydropower plant. The project would greatly enhance the electricity supply and help meet the rising demand for electricity in a climate-smart manner.

Riaz Haq said...

Power generation capacity expands 11.5%
Total capacity reached 41,557MW with slight drop in hydel share

“This is not only the first transmission line project developed by the private sector but also the first-ever HVDC transmission line in Pakistan.”

Furthermore, another nine independent power plants (IPPs) of 7,028MW, which include four hydel IPPs of 3,428MW, four Thar coal-based IPPs of 3,300MW and one imported coal-based IPP of 300MW are at different stages of processing.

Gas sector

The indigenous supply of natural gas declined around 5% and its contribution stood at 33.1% to the total primary energy supply mix of the country.

Available statistics for July-March FY22 indicate that Pakistan has an extensive gas network of over 13,513 km of transmission, 155,679 km of distribution and 41,231 km of services gas pipelines to cater to the requirement of millions of consumers.

The number of consumers has increased from 10.3 million to more than 10.7 million across the country. “The government’s policies to enhance the indigenous gas production to meet the increasing demand for energy proved effective,” the report said.

At present, the capacity of two Floating Storage and Re-gasification Units (FSRU) for RLNG is 1,200 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd). RLNG is being imported to bridge the widening gap between demand and supply of gas in the country.

The average natural gas consumption declined from 3,723 mmcfd to about 3,565 mmcfd during July-March FY22.

It is expected that gas will be supplied to approximately 736,060 new consumers (the target is subject to approval of Ogra) during FY23.

Gas utilities have planned to invest Rs27,669 million in transmission projects, Rs77,484 million in distribution projects and Rs8,746 million in other projects, bringing total investment to Rs113,899 million during fiscal year 2022-23.

Oil sector

Pakistan generates electricity from an energy mix that includes oil, natural gas, LNG, coal and renewable sources including solar, wind, hydel, nuclear and biomass.

The energy sector is heavily dependent on imported fuel including oil and LNG and will continue to rely on its imports because of the low domestic capacity, according to the report.

Higher oil prices in the global market and massive depreciation of the Pakistani rupee make oil imports more expensive, triggering external sector pressure and widening the trade deficit. The surge in the oil import bill is attributed to the increase in value as well as increase in the quantity demanded. The oil import bill increased 95.9% to $17.03 billion in July-April FY22 compared to $8.69 billion during the corresponding period of last year.

Further breakdown showed that the import of petroleum products went up 121.15% in value and 24.18% in quantity. During July-April FY22, the import of petroleum products increased to $8.55 billion compared to $3.87 billion during July-April FY21. Crude oil imports rose 75.1% in value and 1.4% in quantity during the period under review.

Petroleum crude reached $4.22 billion in July-April FY22 against $2.41 billion in the same period in FY21. During July-March FY22, the total processed imported crude stood at one million tons while the processed local crude was recorded at 2.31 million tons.

Riaz Haq said...

Solar plant to replace 300MW Gwadar coal power project
The project was conceived under the CPEC and approved in 2016

The Power Division has decided to abandon the 300MW imported coal-based power plant at Gwadar and replace it with a solar plant.

The project was conceived under the CPEC and approved in 2016, but its formal construction had not started. Now the government wants China to install a solar power plant of the same capacity after the government decided not to install any new power plant based on imported fuel in the future.

“We have decided to abandon the project, but we will have to take up the issue at various CPEC forums with our Chinese counterparts. CPEC projects have sensitivity and importance which is why the Power Division’s decision to replace the imported coal-based project at Gwadar with a solar plant is being kept at a low profile,” an official said.

Federal Minister for Power Division Khurram Dastgir Khan also hinted the government wanted the Chinese power plant at Gwadar to be replaced with a solar power plant of 300MW. Talking to The News, he also added that the government had decided to ban new power plants based on imported fuel and would add new capacity to electricity generation based on local fuel, such as Thar coal, wind, solar, and hydel. “However, the government will continue the policy to install more nuclear power plants,” he added.

More importantly, the minister said, the government has also decided to convert the existing imported coal-based power plants of 3,960MW, including the Port Qasim plant, Sahiwal power plant and China Hub plant, each having the capacity to generate 1,320MW of electricity, to local coal. The fuel import bill had eaten up almost $20 billion in the first 11 months of the last fiscal 2021-22. The initiative is being taken to scale down the fuel import bill and reduce reliance on imported fuel for power generation. The minister said the process to convert the three projects to local coal would take investment and time as boilers of the plants would need some specific changes for calibration with Thar coal.

The Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) for the CPEC had decided in its 6th meeting held in Beijing in December 2016 that a 300MW imported coal-fired power project must be developed on a fast-track basis at Gwadar. The tariff of the project was determined in September 2019, land for the project was acquired in February 2020 and the project management was signed on April 8, 2021. The Nepra also issued a generation licence to the project management. However, the financial close of the project has not yet been completed as it is still under process. The project is still on the list of under-construction CPEC projects. However, its construction has not started yet. That is why top officials of the Power Division have decided to abandon the project and replace it with a solar power plant under its new policy not to install a new power plant base on imported coal in future.

Pakistan is currently importing 30 to 70MW of electricity from Iran under an agreement of 110MW. Sometimes, Pakistan has some fluctuation in electricity import because of demand in Iran. Pakistan had inked a new agreement of importing 100MW electricity for which a transmission line would be laid from Polan (Iran) to Gwadar by the end of 2022, or the start of 2023. The government has also increased its emphasis on laying its own infrastructure in Balochistan and the NTDC will lay a high transmission line of 500kv from Makran coast to Gwadar.

Riaz Haq said...

The last stator frame at the (864 MW) Suki Kinari hydropower project (on the Kunhar river in the Kaghan valley of Mansehra District Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) has been hoisted successfully and lowered into the unit pit.

The stator weighed 335 tons and the task was completed with the help of bridge cranes. The project has four electricity generation units with a combined capacity of 884 megawatts.

The run-of-river facility is one of the early-harvest clean energy projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Gezhouba Group, China is implementing the project at around $2 billion, China Economic Net (CEN) reported.

Also, the 5-kilometre-long relocated portion of National Highway 15 (N-15) is open to traffic. The existing portion of N-15 will submerge in the reservoir of the Suki Kinari hydropower project; therefore, the new road was constructed at a higher elevation. The new road also has a 411-metre-long tunnel.

The project is expected to complete by the end of 2023 or mid 2024, an official said. He said that the powerhouse and reservoir parts of the project were at advanced stages of completion. However, the 24-kilometre-long headrace tunnel is the most challenging part of the project due to unpredictable terrain, tough weather conditions during winters and dewatering issues, he said.

Gezhouba has deployed the most skilled workforce and state-of-the-art machinery at the tunnel sites and presently excavation and lining works are underway from both upstream and downstream sides, he said.

The project will add around 3 billion units of cheap electricity into the national grid annually after completion.

Riaz Haq said...

Surge in services demand helps steady India’s economy in August | Mint

Electricity consumption, a widely used proxy to gauge demand in industrial and manufacturing sectors, showed activity is picking up. Numbers from India’s power ministry showed peak demand met in August jumped to 185 gigawatt from 167 gigawatt a month ago. However, rising unemployment numbers tempered the overall optimism, with data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. showing the jobless rate climbed to 8.3 percent -- the highest level in a year. That shows the current pace of expansion isn’t enough to create jobs for the million plus people joining the workforce every month.


When electricity projects now in the pipeline are completed in the next few years, Pakistan will have about 38,000 MW of capacity, Gauhar said. But its current summertime peak demand is 25,000 MW, with electricity use falling to 12,000 MW in the winter, he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's power production hits record high at 24,284MW in 2021


Economic Survey 2021-22: Pakistan installed capacity 41,557 MW in 2022

Pakistan's Electricity Generation Capacity
The total electricity generation capacity during July-April 2022 has increased by 11.5 percent and it reached 41,557 MW from 37261 MW during the same period last fiscal

Riaz Haq said...

Arif Habib Limited
Power Generation Aug’22

Power Generation
Aug’22: 14,053 GWh (18,888 MW), -12.6% YoY | -0.7% MoM
2MFY23: 28,203 GWh (18,954 MW), -11.2% YoY

Fuel Cost
Aug’22: PKR 10.06/KWh, +57% YoY | -6% MoM
2MFY23: PKR 10.39/KWh, +61% YoY

Riaz Haq said...

Unit 3 of the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan - a Chinese-supplied Hualong One reactor - reached 100% capacity for the first time on 31 March. The 1100 MWe pressurised water reactor is currently undergoing power ascension testing prior to entering commercial operation.

Construction of Karachi 3, the second of two Hualong One units to be built near Paradise Point in the province of Sindh, began in May 2016. Hot functional testing of Karachi 3 - which simulate the temperatures and pressures that the reactor systems will be subjected to during normal operation and are carried out before loading nuclear fuel - was completed ahead of schedule on 4 November last year. It achieved first criticality on 21 February and was connected to the grid on 4 March.

Various performance and commissioning tests have since been carried out at power levels of 25%, 30%, 50%, 75% and 87% capacity, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said.

Once testing at full capacity is completed, Karachi 3 will perform a 100-hour demonstration run, after which it will enter commercial operation.

Karachi 2 entered commercial operation in May last year. The units are the first exports of CNNC's Hualong One, which is also promoted on the international market as HPR1000.

The Karachi site - also sometimes referred to as KANUPP - was home to Pakistan's first nuclear power reactor, Karachi 1 - a small 100 MWe (90 MWe net) Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.

The first domestic demonstration plants of CNNC's Hualong One design are Fuqing 5 and 6, in China's Fujian province. The units entered commercial operation in January 2021 and March this year, respectively.

Nuclear energy currently provides around 8% of Pakistan's energy mix from five reactors: four CNNC-supplied CNP-300 pressurised water reactors at Chashma in Punjab, and Karachi 2. CNNC in 2017 signed a cooperation agreement with the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on the construction of a Hualong One as a fifth unit at Chashma.

In February, Nucleoeléctrica Argentina and CNNC signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the development of the Atucha 3 nuclear power plant. The plant, to be sited near Lima, about 100 kilometres north west of Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, will use the Hualong One technology.

Riaz Haq said...

New hydel projects to produce over 11,000MW
Will enhance overall hydroelectric power capacity to 20,684MW

The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is pursuing six hydroelectric power projects that will add 11,241 megawatts of environment-friendly electricity to the existing hydel generation capacity of 9,443MW in the coming years.

Talking to APP, Wapda officials said that at present total installed capacity of 24 hydel power stations of Wapda stood at 9,443MW and the addition of 11,241MW would enhance it to 20,684MW.

The existing hydel power stations included Tarbela, Mangla, Ghazi Barotha, Neelum-Jhelum and Warsak, which contributed about 25% to the total system capacity of 36,166MW from all sources.

The net electricity output of those power stations was about 32,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per annum.

Sharing details of the upcoming hydel power projects, the officials said that the Dasu Hydropower Project would contribute 4,320MW, Tarbela 5th Extension 1,510MW, Mohmand Dam 800MW, Diamer-Bhasha Dam 4,500MW, Keyal Khwar Power Project 128MW and Kurram Tangi 83.4MW to the national grid system.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has developed several nuclear power projects to support economic uplift in Pakistan.

Total installed capacity of the nuclear power plants connected with the national grid was 3,530MW, which included 1,330MW Chashma nuclear power project and 2,200MW Karachi nuclear power project.

Riaz Haq said...

Arif Habib Limited
Power Generation Data

Power Generation
Oct’22: 10,705 GWh (14,388 MW), -5% YoY | -17% MoM
4MFY23: 51,786 GWh (17,543 MW), -9% YoY

Fuel Cost
Oct’22: PKR 9.02/KWh, -3% YoY | -9% MoM
4MFY23: PKR 9.99/KWh, +41% YoY

Riaz Haq said...

The Thar coal power project has started generating 1,320 MW on a trial basis and the electricity would soon become part of national grid, a senior official said on Sunday.

“The test production of 1,320 MW has successfully been started,” Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“This production plant is being run in cooperation with Shanghai Electric. The fresh production of power supply would soon be included in national grid. The power plants of Engro and Hub Power are already contribution 660 MW each in the national grid,” he said.

Only last week, the federal government had announced that the first unit of the Shanghai Electric’s coal-based power plant has been connected to the national grid.

The development was shared by Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan, who termed it the fruit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative.

Riaz Haq said...

As Pakistan’s energy import bill touched an exorbitant $27 billion, Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif underlined the need to explore indigenous resources including hydel, solar, air and coal to produce cheap electricity.

Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir Khan stated that a 1,320MW project has been initiated by the Shanghai Electric Group in Thar to use indigenous coal for electricity production.

“The plants have been connected to the national grid,” and that the initiative “was borne from the fruit of CPEC projects,” he observed.

Pakistan is suffering from the impact of the greenhouse effect, so green power generation is the trend. PM Sharif also revealed that the incumbent government has prepared a plan to generate 10,000MW of electricity through solar energy.

“We know that Pakistan is rich in solar and wind resources,” said Wang Haowei from Shanghai Electric, the Business Manager of the Zhang Jiakou Green Power Project. “The installed capacity of the project is 150 MW wind power, 30 MW photovoltaic power and 10 MW energy storage.”

Riaz Haq said...

#China, #Pakistan mark completion of #Karachi 2&3 (K2 & K3) #nuclear #power plants, each generating 1100 MW. "Since entering commercial operation, the K-2 and K-3 units have generated nearly 20 billion kilowatt-hours of #electricity" #Infrastructure,-Pakistan-mark-completion-of-Karachi-2-3-pro

A ceremony has been held to mark the inauguration of unit 3 of the Karachi nuclear power plant in Pakistan. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said the two Hualong One reactors at the site have now both officially been delivered to Pakistan and put into operation.

During the event, speeches were made by Pakistan's Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ali Raza, China Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director Liu Jing and CNNC General Manager Gu Jun. International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi also delivered a speech via video.

"Since entering commercial operation, the K-2 and K-3 units have generated nearly 20 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, effectively alleviating the power shortage in Pakistan, as well as making positive contributions to Pakistan's social and economic development, energy security and independence, and addressing climate change," CNNC said. "At the same time, the K-2/K-3 project has provided more than 60,000 jobs for the local people throughout the whole cycle and trained a large number of local industrial workers."

Units 2 and 3 of the Karachi site - near Paradise Point in the province of Sindh - are the first exports of CNNC's 1100 MWe Hualong One pressurised water reactor, which is also promoted on the international market as HPR1000.

Construction of unit 2 began in 2015, with that of unit 3 following in May 2016. Karachi 2 achieved first criticality in February 2021 and was connected to the grid the following month after the completion of commissioning tests. The then Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated unit 2 on 21 May 2021.

Unit 3 achieved first criticality on 21 February 2022 and was connected to the grid on 4 March. Unit 3 passed acceptance tests on 18 April 2022, marking its entry into commercial operation.

According to CNNC, since Karachi units 2 and 3 have been put into operation, "the frequency and duration of local power outages have been greatly reduced".

The company noted Karachi 2 and 3 now provide Pakistan with nearly 20 billion kWh of clean electricity every year, meeting the annual demand of the local population of 2 million people. The units will reduce the equivalent standard coal consumption by 6.24 million tonnes per year, thereby cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 16.32 million tonnes.

The Karachi site - also sometimes referred to as KANUPP - was home to Pakistan's first nuclear power reactor, Karachi 1 - a small 100 MWe (90 MWe net) Canadian pressurised heavy water reactor which shut down in 2021 after 50 years of operation.

The first domestic demonstration plants of CNNC's Hualong One design are Fuqing 5 and 6, in China's Fujian province. The units entered commercial operation in January 2021 and March this year, respectively

Riaz Haq said...

POWERCHINA Celebrates 10th Anniversary of CPEC: Committed to Bringing Pakistan Forward for Green and Sustainable Development

This year will see the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 10th anniversary of the launch of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). As one of the key enterprises participating in the construction of the CPEC, POWERCHINA has been active in various fields such as energy, electricity, water management, and infrastructure investment in Pakistan since it entered the Pakistani market as early as 1987.

Over the past 36 years, POWERCHINA has completed the 103 projects in Pakistan, including the first roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in Pakistan – the Gomal Zam Dam multipurpose project, and the first mainstream hydropower station on the Indus River – the Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project, the largest installed hydropower station – the Tarbela 4th & 5th Extension Hydropower Project, and the largest wind farm – the Tricon Boston 150 MW Wind Power Project.

In the past ten years, among the first 20 energy and infrastructure projects of the CPEC, POWERCHINA has participated in the investment and construction of 11 projects. POWERCHINA has consolidated the traditional power business, and continued to contribute to the development of new energy and other fields. Pakistan's largest hydropower hub project currently being constructed by POWERCHINA, the Diamer Basha Dam Project, will become the tallest and largest RCC dam in the world, and is expected to provide Pakistan with 18.1 billion KWh of clean electricity every year. As the project progresses, it is expected to provide more than 20,000 job opportunities, which is considered as one of the many positive effects of the project by Nadeem Ilyas, a Pakistani engineer of the project.

As one of the leading enterprises in China, POWERCHINA has carried out high-quality clean energy project construction and operation in accordance with international standards, and is committed to improving Pakistan's infrastructure conditions and alleviating local power shortages. It has not only made important contributions to the sustainable development of Pakistan, but also played a key role in the development of CPEC.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has an energy surplus. Here’s why it gets hit by blackouts anyway
For several years, Pakistan’s cities and villages have suffered from power outages lasting several hours a day. In January, a nationwide blackout plunged the country of 230 million people into darkness. But the problem isn’t energy supply.

This January, much of Pakistan’s population of nearly 230 million people plunged into darkness, bringing widespread disruption to people and industries for almost 24 hours.

“If you go to our government hospitals – which didn’t have back-up facilities – or field hospitals, or small nursing homes, they had to stop all their services,” said Dr. Shayan Ansari, a surgeon at a private hospital in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

A similar incident struck last October. Meanwhile, smaller blackouts regularly hit cities and villages for several hours daily.

But the problem is not energy supply.

“We don’t have a problem as far as the supply of energy is concerned in Pakistan,” said Ishrat Husain, who served as an advisor to ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Both outages were caused because there were fluctuations on the transmission lines, which have not been updated for quite some time.”

In 2020, nearly 20 percent of Pakistan’s energy was simply lost during transmission, distribution and delivery.

Pakistan’s energy problems are having a cascading effect on the country’s economy, which is on the verge of collapse. Watch the video above to find out more.

Riaz Haq said...

Civil nuclear energy: Kasuri says China agreed to sign accord with Pakistan way back in 2003

The former foreign minister emphasized the need for internal unity if Pakistan was to ensure meaningful progress in the field of foreign policy

ISLAMABAD: Former foreign minister Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has revealed that China agreed to sign an agreement with Pakistan way back in 2003 in the field of civil nuclear energy before joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) while the United States declined to cooperate with Pakistan for the same in the face of AQ Khan affair. The Chinese continued their cooperation and facilitated in establishing many nuclear power plants in Pakistan.

The former foreign minister emphasized the need for internal unity if Pakistan was to ensure meaningful progress in the field of foreign policy.

“In the current state of disunity and lack of direction in Pakistan, no country, friend or foe, knows how or who to deal with in Pakistan. This is a very dangerous situation and cannot be allowed to continue. It is the primary duty of all the stakeholders in Pakistan to bring this to an end.”

Mian Kasuri was addressing a ceremony at the Government College University, Lahore, where he was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in international relations and diplomacy, promoting Pakistan’s relations with major world capitals and neighbours and for his efforts to promote regional peace and connectivity.

The former foreign minister, who served the country from November 2002 to Nov 2007, also disclosed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked Pakistan to continue the dialogue for Kashmir dispute’s resolution under the famous four-point formula that was mooted in his tenure as foreign minister.

He expressed his happiness at the fact that the recent book, ‘In Pursuit of Peace’ by former Indian ambassador to Pakistan and negotiator for backchannel talks during PM Manmohan Singh’s tenure Ambassador S K Lambah, had comprehensively confirmed that what Mian Kasuri had said in his book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove’ published much earlier that Pakistan and India had agreed to resolve all the outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.

Kasuri expressed his pleasant surprise at Lambah’s revelation that Modi asked him to continue the dialogue in 2014 on the same four-point formula. The former foreign minister said that he was aware that because of the negativity engendered by Hindutva supporters under the Modi government, the relationship between the two countries had become exceedingly tense.

PM Modi, Kasuri said, cannot rule India forever. Even at the best of times, he was able to secure about 37% of the total votes with an overwhelming majority voting for parties who are, by and large, opposed to the current policies of the BJP government on Muslims, Kashmir and Pakistan.

“There was no guarantee that Modi would not change his extremist policies, either before or after elections. After all, Modi had paid a surprise visit to Lahore in December 2015 to meet former PM Nawaz Sharif,” Mian Kasuri said.

Besides India, he said, during his tenure, exceptionally close relationship was forged between Pakistan and Bangladesh and he remained in a close personal relationship with his counterpart, Morshed Khan.

He also made sure to cultivate close relationship with PM Khalida Zia and the then opposition leader and current PM, Hasina Wajed.

Similarly, close ties were developed with Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Mian Khurshid Kasuri went on to describe the success of the government at that time in establishing close relationship with the US and China, at the same time. A broad-based Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States was formalised, which aimed to promote cooperation in different fields, including economic development, science and technology, education, energy, agriculture, and a regular strategic dialogue.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #Hydro #power: 1530MW #Tarbela 5th Extension Project to start power generation in 2025. It's financed by World Bank ($390 million) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($300 million). #RenewableEnergy #electricity via @the_nation

Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project, having a cumulative generation capacity of 1530MW, will start power generation in 2025.

While briefing Chairman WAPDA Engr Lt Gen (r) Sajjad Ghani during his visit to Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project, it was informed that electricity generation from the project would start in 2025. Masood Ahmed from World Bank also accompanied the chairman. GM Tarbela Dam Zakir Ateeq, PD Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project and representatives of the consultants and the contractor, made detailed presentation on progress of the project. It was briefed that construction activities are underway on five sites. Recovery plan to match the completion schedule of the project was also discussed in detail during the briefing.

Earlier, the chairman witnessed construction work on various sites including intake, penstock and outlet, power house, tailrace culvert and switch yard. Member (Power) WAPDA Jamil Akhtar, GM (Power) Tarbela Nasrum Minallah, GM (HRD) Brig Hamid Raza (Retd) and GM (Security) Brig Muhammad Tufail (Retd) were also present on the occasion.

During his interaction with the project management, the chairman said that green, clean and affordable hydel electricity is all the more important to rationalise the tariff and stabilise the economy. This necessitates timely completion of hydropower projects, he added. The Chairman urged the project management to gear up their efforts and complete Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project in accordance with the schedule.

WAPDA is constructing Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project on Tunnel No. 5 of Tarbela Dam. World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) are providing financial assistance for the project to the tune of $390 million and $300 million respectively. Cumulative generation capacity of the project stands at 1530MW with three generating units of 510MW each. The project will provide 1.347 billion units of environment friendly and low-cost hydel electricity to the national grid on the average every year. With completion of Tarbela 5th Extension Project, installed capacity at Tarbela Dam will increase from 4888 MW to 6418 MW. Chairman WAPDA also visited intake structure of Tarbela 4th Extension Hydel Power Station and discussed operation and maintenance (O&M) activities of the power station. Commissioned in 2018 with funding of the World Bank, the 1410 MW-Tarbela 4th Extension Hydel Power Station has so far provided 18.67 billion units of electricity to the national grid.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan will add up to 10 GW of new hydropower capacity by 2030 | Enerdata

In July 2022, Pakistan commissioned the 720 MW Karot hydropower plant, one of five projects on the Jhelum River (northern Pakistan), alongside the Azad Pattan plant (700 MW), the Mangla Dam (1.1 GW), the Neelum-Jehlum plant (969 MW) and the Kohala plant (1.1 GW).


700MW Azad Pattan hydropower project ready for construction: Energy China - Profit by Pakistan Today

Wang Huihua, Managing Director of China Energy Int’l Group’s Pakistan Branch, announced that the 700-megawatt Azad Pattan hydropower project, run by Energy China, is ready for construction after the completion of a feasibility study and land acquisition.

Wang made these remarks at the ‘Pakistan Energy Sector Landscape: Challenges & Opportunities’ conference held at NUST University, Islamabad.

He explained that the project would provide cheap, clean energy to Pakistan. “We have been developing this project for six years. We hope the government will give it more priority in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative to expedite financial closure,” he said.

He further stated that Energy China believed that investing in renewable energy in Pakistan was financially viable. “We are committed to setting up our long-term operation in Pakistan and investing more,” he said.

He highlighted that China Energy Engineering Corp. (Energy China) has been present in Pakistan for the past 20 years. “Energy China considers Pakistan as its favored investment destination,” he added.

Wang also pointed out some of the challenges faced by foreign investors in Pakistan, underscoring the importance of resolving them quickly to foster win-win cooperation.

Riaz Haq said...

The Evolution of Pakistan’s Energy Market: A Comprehensive Overview

Pakistan’s energy market has come a long way since the country’s inception in 1947. At that time, the energy sector was primarily dependent on imported oil and coal, with limited domestic production. Over the years, the government has made concerted efforts to develop indigenous resources, such as natural gas, hydropower, and more recently, renewable energy. Today, Pakistan’s energy mix comprises a diverse array of sources, including oil, natural gas, coal, hydropower, nuclear, and renewables.

One of the key drivers of Pakistan’s energy market evolution has been the growing demand for electricity. With a rapidly expanding population and increasing urbanization, the country’s electricity consumption has surged over the past few decades. To meet this burgeoning demand, the government has pursued an aggressive capacity expansion program, focusing on both conventional and renewable energy sources. Consequently, Pakistan’s installed power generation capacity has witnessed a significant increase, from a mere 60 MW in 1947 to over 37,000 MW in 2021.

The liberalization of Pakistan’s energy market has also played a crucial role in its development. In the early 1990s, the government embarked on a series of reforms aimed at deregulating the power sector and encouraging private sector participation. These reforms included the establishment of an independent regulatory authority, the unbundling of state-owned utilities, and the introduction of competitive bidding for power projects. As a result, the private sector now accounts for a substantial share of Pakistan’s power generation capacity, with several local and international companies operating in the market.

Foreign investment has been another critical factor in the evolution of Pakistan’s energy market. Over the years, the country has attracted significant investment in various energy projects, particularly in the power generation and oil and gas exploration sectors. Notably, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship initiative under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, has emerged as a game-changer for Pakistan’s energy landscape. Under CPEC, several energy projects, including coal-fired power plants, hydropower projects, and transmission lines, have been completed or are under construction, significantly boosting Pakistan’s energy infrastructure.

Despite these achievements, Pakistan’s energy market continues to face several challenges. One of the most pressing issues is the affordability of electricity, as high tariffs and circular debt have put a strain on consumers and the national exchequer. Additionally, the country’s heavy reliance on imported fossil fuels has raised concerns about energy security and vulnerability to global price fluctuations.

Moreover, the environmental impact of Pakistan’s energy choices cannot be ignored. The country’s growing dependence on coal, particularly under CPEC, has raised alarm bells among environmentalists and climate change experts. With Pakistan being one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, there is an urgent need to shift towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

In recent years, the government has taken several steps to address these challenges. For instance, it has introduced policies to promote renewable energy, such as solar and wind, and set ambitious targets for their share in the energy mix. Furthermore, efforts are being made to improve energy efficiency and reduce transmission and distribution losses, which would help lower electricity costs and enhance system reliability.

In conclusion, the evolution of Pakistan’s energy market has been a fascinating tale of progress, diversification, and resilience. While the country has made significant strides in developing its energy resources and infrastructure, the journey is far from over.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan and #China sign $4.8 billion 1200 MW #nuclear #power plant deal. Work on Chashma 5 project would begin immediately. China's support will help Pakistan make the transition away from reliance on #FossilFuels . #nuclearenergy #electricity

Pakistan and China signed a $4.8 billion deal on Tuesday to build a 1,200-megawatt nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, hailing the investment by a country that Pakistan views as its most dependable ally.

Work on the Chashma 5 project would begin immediately, Sharif said on state-run news channel PTV following the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between China National Nuclear Cooperation and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

"Investment from China in this project to the tune of $4.8 billion sends a message loud and clear that Pakistan is a place where Chinese companies and investors continue to show their trust and faith," Sharif said.

The Chashma 5 project will be built in the central province of Punjab. China's support will help Pakistan make the transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.

Pakistan's total nuclear energy production capacity rose to 1,400 mw, when the country's sixth nuclear power plant opened two years ago. Located in the southern port city of Karachi, that 1,100 mw plant was also constructed with Chinese assistance.

Sharif, whose government is desperately struggling to stave off a balance of payments crisis, thanked the Chinese partners for offering a $100-million discount for the latest project.

It is unclear whether the new investment is part of the $65 billion that China has pledged in infrastructure building for Pakistan under its Belt and Road Initiative.

The new project was originally planned to start a couple of years ago, and Sharif expressed thanks to the Chinese side for not rescheduling costs despite the long delay. Instead, he said, the Chinese had disbursed an initial 30 billion Pakistani rupees ($104.53 million) to start the project.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Plant With New Hualong One Reactor

By Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

China continues to be a world leader in exporting its nuclear power technology. Chinese officials in Pakistan on June 20 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a $4.8 billion deal with Pakistan’s nuclear energy agency for construction of a new 1,200-MW reactor at the Chashma power complex.

The new unit will be China’s Hualong One, or HPR1000, pressurized water reactor technology.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said the country considers China its “most dependable ally.” Sharif, whose country is in the midst of an economic crisis and looking for outside investment in its energy sector, said construction of the Chashma 5 project, located in Punjab province, would begin immediately.

The Chashma complex has four CNP-300 reactors currently in operation, each with 325 MW of generation capacity. The units were developed by China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC). The first unit came online in 1991; the other units entered commercial operation in 2011, 2016, and 2017, respectively.

Chashma 5 will be built by CNNC subsidiary CNNC China Zhongyuan Engineering Corp., the company said.

Chinese officials recently announced that an HPR1000 has also been proposed for construction at the Bradwell site in the UK. Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency said they have started a second, technical, phase of the assessment program for the HPR1000.

Chinese Investment
Sharif, speaking Tuesday on Pakistan’s state-run news channel PTV after the signing of the MOU between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Chinese officials, said, “Investment from China in this project to the tune of $4.8 billion sends a message loud and clear that Pakistan is a place where Chinese companies and investors continue to show their trust and faith.”

The prime minister originally brokered the project during his time as chief minister of Punjab, an office he held three times, most recently from 2013 to 2018. He was elected as Pakistan’s prime minister in April 2022.

Sharif has supported nuclear power as a way to move Pakistan away from fossil fuels. Its most recent nuclear facility, the 2,200-MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant, also known as KANUPP, in the southern port city of Karachi, commissioned its two reactors in 2021 and 2022, respectively. That facility, featuring two Hualong One Generation III pressurized water reactors, also was built with financial backing from China.

Sharif on Tuesday said the Chashma 5 project was originally planned to start in 2021. He said Chinese officials did not raise the cost of the project from original estimates despite the delay. Officials on Tuesday said China has to date disbursed 30 billion Pakistani rupees ($104.53 million) to start the project.

“We are deeply obliged to [China] President Xi Jinping, and the Chinese leadership for their generous help to Pakistan,” Sharif said. He also recognized Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar for extending financial support to Pakistan’s government.

Pakistan for years has contended with power outages. Two of the worst incidents occurred in January 2021, and again in January of this year. In 2021, a fault at a power plant brought down the national grid, leading to calls for a massive overhaul of the country’s electricity transmission infrastructure.

A nationwide power outage on Jan. 30 of this year impacted all of Pakistan’s major cities and left millions of people without electricity.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Signs $4.8 Billion Nuclear Power Plant Deal With China

Pakistan and China signed a $4.8 billion deal Tuesday to build what would be the seventh Chinese nuclear power plant in the South Asian nation.

The 1,200-megawatt project will be installed in the central Pakistani city of Chashma, where Beijing already has built four nuclear power generation units with a collective output of nearly 1,230 megawatts.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif oversaw Tuesday's signing of the memorandum of understanding between China National Nuclear Cooperation and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

According to the agreement, the Chinese company will employ its HPR 1000 technology, known as HPR1000 or Hualong One, to construct the nuclear power unit. It will be the third facility in Pakistan to feature the HPR 1000, or pressurized water reactor technology.

"Investment from China in this project to the tune of $4.8 billion sends a loud and clear message that Pakistan is a place where Chinese companies and investors continue to show their trust and faith," Sharif said.

He thanked Beijing for offering a more than $100 million discount for what is named the Chashma 5 power plant. The work on the project was initially planned to start a couple of years ago, but Sharif said the Chinese partners had not rescheduled costs despite the long delay.

"This project is part of our energy security plan to diversify the energy mix with a focus on ensuring the provision of cheap electricity to the industry & relief to the common man,” the Pakistani prime minister wrote on Twitter after the ceremony.

Sharif's coalition government is struggling to deal with unprecedented economic challenges facing Pakistan, including a balance of payments crisis.

China has recently also constructed two nuclear power plants in the southern port city of Karachi, each with a 1,100-megawatt generation capacity.

Pakistani officials say the two Chinese-supplied third-generation Hualong One reactors, known as K2 and K3, cost roughly $10 billion. They are equipped with "advanced safety and foolproof security features" and have enhanced Pakistan's nuclear energy production to more than 3,500 megawatts.

"K2 and K3 are fully functional and supply 2,200 megawatts of electricity to the national grid. Similarly, nuclear power plants at Chashma are contributing more than 1,300 megawatts," a PAEC spokesman told VOA on Tuesday.

Canada helped Pakistan build its first nuclear power plant in 1972 in Karachi, producing about 80 megawatts of electricity. It is expected to be shut down soon after having served its purpose for about the full extent of the planned operation.

China maintains close defense and economic relations with staunch ally Pakistan. It has invested more than $20 billion in building road networks, power plants, and ports over the past decade under what is known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC.

Officials in both countries say the collaboration, an extension of Beijing's global Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, has created tens of thousands of jobs and ended Pakistan's crippling energy crisis.

Riaz Haq said...

Dasu Hydropower Project: Stage 1 of concrete Starter Dam completed

In a major development towards implementation of Dasu Hydropower Project, Stage 1 of the concrete Starter Dam has been completed upstream of Main Dam site.

As per the design, the Starter Dam for Dasu Hydropower Project is to be completed in two stages; Stage 1 up to elevation of 785 meters while Stage 2 up to elevation of 798 meters above mean sea level, said a spokesperson WAPDA here. The Stage 1 of the concrete Starter Dam was completed in June this year before the high flow season – a major landmark which the project team successfully achieved, the spokesperson said.

As the high flow season has started, River Indus is flowing through the two diversion tunnels completed earlier this year, while some of the river water is overtopping the concrete Starter Dam as designed.

After the high flow season in October this year, the construction of the Starter Dam’s Stage 2 will be carried out. The Stage 2 is scheduled for completion during the coming low flow season. The project is being constructed across the River Indus, upstream of Dasu Town in Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The 4,320-MW-Dasu Hydropower Project is planned to be completed in two stages. At present, WAPDA is constructing its stage-I with installed generation capacity of 2,160-MW and annual energy generation of 12 billion units. Stage-I of the project is likely to start electricity generation in 2026. The 2,160-MW stage-II, when implemented, will also provide 9 billion units to the national grid. On completion of the both stages, Dasu will become the project with highest annual energy generation in Pakistan i.e. 21 billion units per annum on the average. The project will commence by end 2026. It is worth mentioning here that in February this year, Dasu Hydropower Project crossed a major milestone as the River Indus was successfully diverted following completion of a 1.33-kilometre long diversion tunnel.

Following the completion of one of the two diversion tunnels, the River Indus was successfully diverted to the completed tunnel. Instead of its natural course, the River Indus is now flowing through a 1.33-kilometer long diversion tunnel with 20-metre width and 23-metre height. Consequently, construction activities have been initiated on the starter dam, leading towards construction of the main dam of Dasu Hydropower Project.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s PM Shehbaz Sharif launches US$3.5 billion Chinese-designed nuclear energy project

The two countries had already signed an agreement to construct a state-of-the-art Hualong One reactor
China also gave US$5 billion loan to Pakistan to help it unlock a bailout from the IMF

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday launched the construction of a 1,200-megawatt Chinese-designed nuclear energy project, which will be built at a cost of US$3.5 billion as part of the government efforts to generate more clean energy in the Islamic nation.
The ceremony to mark the project’s start comes less than a month after Pakistan signed an agreement with China’s National Nuclear Corporation Overseas in the capital, Islamabad, to construct a Hualong One reactor – a third-generation nuclear reactor and is considered safer because of the latest security features.
Pakistan and China are long-time allies. Pakistan’s relations with Beijing are so close that its leadership calls China their “Iron Brother.” China is also building roads, bridges, power plants, and railways to link its far west with the Chinese-built port of Gwadar on the Indian Ocean.

Riaz Haq said...

China Begins Construction of Pakistan's Largest Nuclear Power Plant

Pakistan held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for what will be its largest civil nuclear power plant — constructed by China — that will contribute 1,200 megawatts of electricity daily to the national grid and is estimated to cost at least $3.5 billion.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and senior Chinese officials attended the televised event in the central city of Chashma, dubbed the birthplace of China-Pakistan nuclear energy cooperation.

Over the past 30 years, Beijing has installed four nuclear power generation units in Chashma, collectively generating about 1,300 megawatts, with China providing enriched uranium for fuel.

"This mutual cooperation to promote clean, efficient, and comparatively cheaper energy is a gift of friendship between the two countries and a model for other countries to emulate," Sharif said at the ceremony.

The plant, known as Chashma-5, or C-5, will feature what China says is its domestically developed third-generation pressurized water nuclear technology, the Hualong One or HPR1000, with "advanced safety and foolproof security features."

Raja Ali Raza, the head of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, said the nuclear plant project will be completed by 2030.

"C-5 will be Pakistan's largest generation-III plus nuclear power project," Raza said. "This project has brought PAEC one step closer to its envisaged goal of production of 8,800 megawatts electric cheap and clean energy."

Beijing has previously supplied the HPR1000 technology for two nuclear power stations, each with a 1,100-megawatt generation capacity, built and operationalized in the last couple of years in the southern port city of Karachi, enhancing Pakistan's nuclear energy production to more than 3,500 megawatts a day.

Analysts see China's accelerated civil nuclear cooperation with Pakistan as part of efforts to globally find more lucrative buyers for its HPR1000 reactors developed by state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation or CNNC, the country's second-largest nuclear power producer company.

"HPR1000 is a homegrown nuclear technology of CNNC and a flagship of China's advanced equipment manufacturing," Yu Jianfeng, the CNNC chairman, told the ceremony. He noted that more than 17 units of HPR1000 are currently under construction in China.

"Today's groundbreaking for the C-5 project is a significant milestone for HPR1000's global journey and a new start for the China-Pakistan nuclear energy cooperation," Yu stated. "Our cooperation in nuclear energy has become an integral part of the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and a shining example of international nuclear energy cooperation."

Under its global Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing also has built and put into commercial operation 14 mostly coal-fired power plants in Pakistan in the last 10 years, with a total installed capacity of 8,000 megawatts daily.

The projects are part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, which has also built road networks, highways, ports, and industrial zones with direct Chinese investment and "soft loans," expected to increase to about $62 billion by 2030 when the mega undertaking is due to be complete.

Critics blame CPEC for contributing to Pakistan's deepening economic troubles and depleting foreign exchange reserves, making it difficult for the country to catch up with its foreign debt repayments.

Pakistan owes more than $1.3 billion (350 billion rupees) to Chinese power plants. The amount keeps growing, and China has refused to defer or restructure the payment and CPEC debt repayments.