Pakistan starts construction of two 1100 MWe nuclear reactors

Pakistan started construction of two Chinese-designed Hualong One nuclear 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.

The two reactor project is a $10 billion effort. The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant II (Kanupp II) with the capacity to produce 1,100 MW electricity is being built financial assistance from China, which has become the biggest investor in energy and infrastructure projects in 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.

The two Karachi nuclear reactors should produce 16 terawatt hours.

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