Pakistan breaks ground for new Karachi units

21 August 2015

Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday held a ceremony to mark the start of construction of two Chinese-designed Hualong One units near the coastal city of Karachi.

Pakistan has three operating reactors - Karachi 1 (KANUPP) which started up in 1972, and two units at Chashma which have been operating since 2000 and 2011, respectively. Two further units are under construction at Chashma under a long-term cooperation agreement with China.

In 2013 ground was broken for the first of the two Chinese-designed ACP1000 units at Karachi, sometimes known as K2 and K3, but this project stalled. The ceremony yesterday relaunched the construction, which is now based on China's successor to the ACP1000, the Hualong One.

"It is our top priority to end load shedding," Sharif said.

Owing to the fact that Pakistan is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it is largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant or materials, which hinders its development of civil nuclear energy. However, China is positive about nuclear cooperation with Pakistan.

Pakistan in 2012 produced 96 terawatt hours of electricity, 35 TWh of this from oil, 27 from natural gas and 30 from hydro. Nuclear power makes a small contribution to total energy production and requirements, supplying only 4.6 TWh - 4.7% of total electricity generated in 2012. Consumption in 2012 was about 77 billion kWh after 16% transmission losses. There was virtually no import or export.

Total installed capacity is about 20 GWe, but often only about 12 GWe is operable. In 2005 an Energy Security Plan was adopted by the government, calling for a huge increase in generating capacity to more than 160 GWe by 2030. Significant power shortages are reported, and load shedding - scheduled power-cuts to curb electricity usage - is common.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News