Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed on Thursday the hope that China will “significantly” slash the electricity tariff for Pakistan to help the country deal with its ongoing economic and electricity crises.
Pakistan will be delighted to achieve the “best possible pricing mechanism” and other terms and conditions in its talks with Chinese officials, the premier said while addressing the inauguration ceremony for K-3, the third unit of Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) jointly constructed with the assistance of China, which will produce 1,100 megawatts of electricity.
PM Shehbaz Sharif expressed his pleasure over inaugurating the K-3 project, saying that it was a great step forward toward Pakistan’s economic cooperation with its most trusted friend, China.
He regretted that currently, Pakistan was importing fuel to the tune of $27 billion, saying it is “an amount we can hardly afford to finance our imports”.
The prime minister said that in view of the $27 billion energy import bill, Pakistan required alternative and cheaper sources of energy, including solar, wind, hydel and nuclear.
With K-3 in operation, the total power generation at KANUPP amounted to 2,200MW and Pakistan’s total power generation amounted to about 3,600 MW, he said.
The premier said that Pakistan badly needed clean and cheaper sources of energy with its nuclear, hydel and other renewables.
“Pakistan’s hydel power generation potential is about 60,000MW but the country is hardly generating 10,000 MW, which is a great loss,” PM Shehbaz Sharif said.
He said that though Pakistan has the Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams, they are under construction and will take time to become operational.
He said that solar and wind power projects can play a major role in fulfilling Pakistan’s energy needs and K-3 will provide the country with cheaper energy in the years to come.
He said that he had a meeting with Chinese officials yesterday and will have another meeting tomorrow as well regarding the pricing mechanism.
The premier said that he hopes that China is fully convinced and understands Pakistan’s challenges and problems after the country was hit by a devastating disaster last year.
“Of course, I am not going to negotiate on the price level now but we expect that our Chinese friends will significantly decrease their per unit price and other terms and conditions,” he said.
He said that lower prices will enable the government of Pakistan to sign another contract of 1,200MW of nuclear energy under Chasma 5.
The premier appreciated the ties between Pakistan and China, saying that 75 years of friendship between the countries has further strengthened on different occasions.
PM Shehbaz mentioned that the electricity projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were greatly contributing to the country’s energy demands through the production of thousands of megawatts.