Pakistan is preparing to build six new nuclear power plants, the country's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced Nov. 26. Sharif said the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission has already identified sites for the new power plants. The plans are part of Pakistan’s Nuclear Energy Vision program, which has set a goal of 40 GW of available nuclear power by 2050.
Sharif made the announcement during the ceremonial ground breaking of the $9.59 billion Coastal Power Project, a 2,200-megawatt nuclear complex to be located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, about 25 miles west of Karachi.
"The beginning of the 2,200-megawatt power project is indeed a proud moment in the energy history of Pakistan," Sharif said.
The Coastal Power Project is being developed with aid from China, with the complex being built around two new-model Chinese ACP-1000 nuclear reactors, The New York Times reported. China will also provide enriched uranium to fuel the new project.
Pakistan is currently in the midst of one of its worst energy crises. The nation experiences long energy blackouts or power cuts, known as load-shedding, which has also significantly impacted the economy.
Sharif has pledged to put an end to load-shedding with his governments aggressive energy development plan that he has said will put Pakistan on the road to real energy and economic prosperity.
Pakistan currently has three nuclear power plants in operation, which generate approximately 740 MW of power.