China to supply Pakistan 600MW nuclear plant

ISLAMABAD, June 13 — Pakistan has formally apprised the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) of its dialogue with China for the acquisition of a 600MW nuclear power plant, according to Internews.
A Pakistani official told the news agency the nuclear power plant would be set up in Karachi where the country’s first nuclear power plant, 138MW Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp) was established in 1972 with Canadian assistance.

He said President General Pervez Musharraf, who yesterday left for China, will push forward the dialogue process with Beijing on nuclear energy co-operation.

Earlier, there were reports that Pakistan has sought two more nuclear power plants of 300MW worth US$1.2bn (RMB9.39 billion) from China.

And in January a Pakistani official told the Financial Times newspaper Pakistan was negotiating the purchase of between six and eight nuclear power reactors from China during the next decade in the most ambitious expansion yet of the country’s nuclear energy capability.

The deal, reported the Financial Times, could cost US$7bn-US$10bn and would involve adding 3,600-4,800MW using a series of 600MW reactors. The plants are expected to be completed by 2025, with construction starting by 2015, according to the official.

China has already supplied one 300MW nuclear reactor to Pakistan’s Chashma plant in the north west of the country.

Pakistan is also deliberating upon the nuclear energy cooperation with the US but as yet has failed to form any concrete agreements. Government officials in Pakistan say Pakistan is quietly seething at US/India nuclear cooperation, and its deals with China are meant to show the US that Pakistan has other options.

“Nuclear energy co-operation talks are also on with the European Union but presently, it’s only China which has come up with a positive response to Pakistan’s request,” said the official.

About James Ockenden (223 Articles)
A writer covering international energy and power markets since 1996
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