PM lays foundation stone of USD 3.48 billion Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit-5

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif laid the foundation stone of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 5 (C-5) at Mianwali on July 14, 2023.  - APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif laid the foundation stone of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 5 (C-5) at Mianwali on July 14, 2023. – APP
  • The project will be completed in seven to eight years.
  • Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif described the project as a major milestone.
  • “The risk of potential default has been completely averted.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday laid the foundation stone of the 1,200 MW Chashma Nuclear Power Plant Unit 5 (C-5) in Mianwali, which is likely to be completed in seven to eight years at a cost of about $3.48 billion.

On June 30, 2023, Prime Minister witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on C-5 project between China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas Limited (CNOS) and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony at Chashma, the Prime Minister said that the project should be completed ahead of schedule keeping in mind the country’s requirements of clean and cheap energy sources.

Describing it as a major milestone and a symbol of cooperation between two great friends – China and Pakistan – Shehbaz said the project would help the country promote clean, efficient and comparatively cheaper energy.

He said that after a break of several years, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is again running at full speed. He gave credit to the coalition government and the SPD for their hard efforts to conclude the C-5 agreement.

“Our critics were spreading rumors all around that Pakistan was going to renege on its sovereign commitments, but we overcame all turbulent times in just 15 months,” he said.

However, he added that the risk of a possible default has been completely averted by the team effort of the government.

The Prime Minister said that a few days ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program was approved, and within 48 hours, about $4.5 billion was transferred by Pakistan’s brother countries Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, besides the IMF 1.2 billion dollars were also transferred from ,

About four months ago, he had said that the Chinese government and commercial banks had returned $5 billion to Pakistan.

He paid tribute to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for their support in this hour of need.

He pointed out that due to the coalition government and their sincere efforts, the Chinese company kept the project cost at the level agreed by the then PML-N government in 2017-18 and did not factor in average inflation of about 10%. project cost.

Further, he said that on his request, a waiver of Rs 30 billion was also given to Pakistan, which shows the spirit of honesty between the two countries.

Pang Chunxue, charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Pakistan, said C5 will help Pakistan build low-carbon, clean and affordable energy, which will also create local jobs and engage local industries to contribute to the project.

Yu Jianfeng, chairman of the China National Nuclear Cooperation Organization, said that cooperation between Pakistan and China in nuclear energy has become an integral part of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

He said the C5 project was an important milestone in the global journey of HPR 1,000 development. Hualong One (HPR 1000) is the third generation nuclear power brand on which China has exclusive intellectual property rights.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan and PAEC Chairman Dr. Raja Ali Raza were also present on the occasion.

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