Shehbaz Sharif at the launch ceremony on Thursday. Image Credit: Federal government

Karachi: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has inaugurated the 1,100 Megawatts K-3 nuclear power plant built near Karachi’s coastline with Chinese assistance.

The new generation unit has been built at the site of the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant whose accumulative electricity generation capacity has increased to 2,200 MW.

Addressing the ceremony, the PM told its audience that with the addition of a new generation unit Pakistan’s total nuclear power production capacity had increased to 3,600 MW.

He said that with the inauguration of K-3 Pakistan had achieved yet another milestone in its time-tested relationship with China that had immensely benefited the Pakistani nation in the energy sector.

Sharif said that Pakistan was able to generate thousands of megawatts of much-needed electricity on the basis of new power generation plants set up under the regime of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He said the new nuclear generation unit becoming operational was also a step forward toward the stage of self-reliance in the energy sector as Pakistan couldn’t afford any more spending billions of dollars every year on importing expensive fuel.

He conceded that although the upfront cost of establishing the new nuclear power plant was relatively higher it would produce cheaper electricity for Pakistani consumers in the next 10 to 15 years.

Sharif said that Pakistan was ready to sign a new deal with its Chinese partners for setting up more nuclear power generation units if favourable terms and conditions and cost were offered to it keeping in view the massive losses sustained by Pakistani nations in the recent floods.

He was of the view that Pakistan had no option except to generate electricity based on cheaper and renewable sources of energy including wind, hydro, and solar power.

Pakistan has the potential of generating over 60,000 MWs on the basis of hydropower generation potential alone but it was producing merely 10,000 MWs which is a great national loss, said the PM. He added that some major dams were under construction in the country but the completion of these projects would take another four to five years.