Pakistan sees 66% growth in nuclear energy in 2021, thanks to China-built K-2 NPP

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Jan 22, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Jan.22(Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan witnessed a massive 66% growth in the production of nuclear power on a year-over-year basis in 2021, as the China-built Karachi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 nearly doubled the country’s atomic energy generation capacity.

KANUPP-2, or Karachi-2, has been built by China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) with an installed capacity of 1,100 megawatts. It involves CNNC’s Generation-III HPR1000, or Hualong One, reactors, and is the first such nuclear power plant built outside China.

Before the inauguration of K-2 in May 2021, the four nuclear power plants in Chashma, all built with China’s help, had a total installed capacity of 1400MWs. The first KANUPP unit, built with Canada’s assistance in 1972, has come of age and will be retired soon, as per Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

CNNC is also building another 1,100MWs K-3 NPP using the same technology, which is expected to come online during the current year. It will further boost the share of low-cost, environment-friendly nuclear power in Pakistan’s energy mix.

According to a report issued on Friday by the research wing of Arif Habib Ltd., Pakistan’s leading financial and brokerage services firm, total nuclear energy production in the year 2021 stood at 15,540 megawatts as against 9,362 megawatts in 2020, registering a year-over-year growth of 66%. Also, the country saw more than double the YoY growth of 108.9% in nuclear energy production in December 2021 as against December 2020. In December 2021, Pakistan produced a total of 1,549MWs of nuclear energy as compared to the total production of 741MWs of atomic power in the corresponding period of the year 2020.

As per the data, K-2 jacked up the share of nuclear power in Pakistan’s energy mix to 11.4% in 2021 from 7.6% in 2020. Also, the share of nuclear energy during December 2021 shot up to 17.5% as against 9.4% in December 2020.

The figures are expected to further improve after the full-year commercial operation of K-2 and commissioning of the K-3 nuclear power plant. Pakistan plans to have as much as 8,800 megawatts installed capacity of nuclear power by 2030 with China’s assistance.

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