Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated power production from Chashma Nuclear Project – III on Wednesday (today).
The 340 Mega Watt Nuclear Power Plant is a joint collaboration of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the prime minister slammed the opposition, calling on them to refrain from ‘sabotaging’ Pakistan’s national interests.
“We shouldn’t waste our time launching unnecessary protests,” he said.
“Ending loadshedding is one of our top priorities,” he said, reiterating his government’s commitment to end loadshedding by 2018.
He also called for holding previous governments accountable for plunging the country into darkness.
Nawaz said that Chashma power plants were providing 600 megawatts of power to the country. “Our farmers, industrialists and ultimately the country will reap the benefits of affordable electricity,” he added.
“Further, our products will be sold at cheaper prices in the country and in global markets benefiting the commoners.” The premier further said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, foreign direct investment will also increase while inflation will decrease and unemployment would be eliminated.” Establishing of new communication routes in the meantime will bring the provinces closer, he added.
This is the third project after the successful operation of Chashma-I and Chashma-II projects.
Chashma – IV Nuclear Power Project to be completed in 2017 and Karachi Nuclear Power Projects K-2 and K-3 will add 8800 MW electricity to the national grid by 2030 as a mid-term target for PAEC.
All nuclear power projects, including Chashma-III have been approved by Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority for Nuclear Safeguards as per International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreements thereby maintaining highest safety standards.
Meanwhile, Chairman WAPDA Lt Gen (r), Muzammil Hussain informed the committee that 2,400-megawatt electricity would be included in the national grid by 2018.
He said the country was having the huge potential of hydel power generation, however, deplored that only 7 percent of this potential had been tapped so far.
He said the Diamar-Bhasha dam would be developed in two phases. In the first phase, water reservoir (dam) would be constructed at a cost of $7 billion during first seven years, and later, the power generation house would be constructed which would also cost $7 billion.
He said Dasu project would also be kick-started in April and it would also be completed in two phases. It would collectively produce 482-megawatt electricity.
Meanwhile, the committee sought the detailed record of documents related to the Mangla Dam Raising project. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was already probing the corruption charges in this project which had been causing huge financial losses to WAPDA.