According to the prime minister, Pakistan would produce 40,000 MW of power from nuclear plants till 2050 and the government’s priority was to start work on power projects to overcome the energy shortage.
Sharif on Tuesday launched the construction of the country’s biggest atomic power plant and vowed to pursue further projects to make nuclear the largest energy source.
The 2,200-megawatt plant is to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 km (25 miles) west of Karachi.
Pakistan already has three operational nuclear plants generating a total of around 740 MW of power and has begun work on a fourth, in addition to the one launched Tuesday.
The government hopes nuclear will ultimately provide a relatively low-cost solution to the power cuts — known euphemistically as “load-shedding” — that blight life in Pakistan.
Mismanagement, corruption and an over-reliance on expensive imported fuels have left the energy sector in dire straits, with hours-long blackouts a daily reality in the summer months.
“This is one of the first steps of our goal of racing toward a load-shedding-free Pakistan,” Sharif told the audience at the site of the plant.
The World Nuclear Association has estimated the cost of the new project at nearly $10 billion.
Read more at Pakistan to build six nuclear power plants
Related article on the Atomic Age: Pakistan launches largest nuclear power project, cost estimated at $12.5b via Straits Times