Pakistan formalises Chashma 5 approval

01 August 2023

Pakistan's Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has formally given its approval to the project to build unit 5 of the Chashma nuclear power plant, two weeks after Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took part in a ground-breaking ceremony for the reactor.

The ECNEC meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mohammad Ishaq Dar, took place in Islamabad on 27 July (Image: Government of Pakistan Press Information Department)

According to an official government announcement, ECNEC "considered and approved" the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) project at a rationalised cost of KPR1,048 billion (USD3.7 billion) with a foreign exchange component of KPR187 billion and Chinese credit of KPR821 billion at a meeting held in Karachi on 27 July.

China National Nuclear Corporation and PAEC signed a cooperation agreement on the construction of the plant in 2017, but according to the Dawn newspaper, Pakistan's Planning Commission requested "certain clarifications and corrections", leading to a revised project with an escalated cost of KPR689 billion being submitted in early 2021. This was revised again to KPR767.6 billion later that year.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the 1200 MWe Hualong One reactor was held earlier this month after Pakistan signed a USD4.8 billion deal with China. The Chashma site - also referred to as Chasnupp - at Mianwali in Punjab is already home to four operating Chinese-supplied CNP-300 pressurised water reactors.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News