Pakistan has been facing an energy crisis for a long time. Due to this backdrop, the economy of the country is going through instability. However, with the introduction of the Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan is gradually working on projects that would help the country overcome the energy crisis. For this purpose, China is to assist Pakistan with the energy needs through Hualong One technology.
Pak-China Strategic Partnership
Pakistan can only overcome the energy deficiency only through new power generation sources, political will, and additional funding. As Pakistan doesn’t generate revenue so, it’s difficult for the country to become self-sufficient on its own. For this reason, it has to rely on international donors and investments to meet the present-day energy needs.
The strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China has been evolving in diverse fields. The glimpses of which could be seen in the energy sector as well. For BRI to function successfully, Pakistan must achieve self-sufficiency in the energy sector. Thus, paving way for Pak-China strategic partnership. China has been helping Pakistan to install nuclear power plants for commercial use. Pakistan will be able to generate electricity and suffice the needs of its people while keeping less reliance on the coal reserves.
Hualong One Technology
A pressurized water nuclear reactor, Hualong One is a Chinese-made third-generation nuclear reactor. Pakistan is known to have been using the Hualong One technology in its nuclear power plants. This nuclear power technology is accepted worldwide. Recently, K-3 a Pakistani nuclear power unit is operationalizing using the same technology. K-3 unit will be the fourth power plant to use the Hualong One technology.
In May 2021, K-2 a nuclear power plant unit in Karachi started to function with Hualong One technology. This facility is working to generate energy for commercial use. The K-3 project is developed through joint efforts of Pakistan and China. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PECA), while addressing questions related to K-3 said “The plant has been connected to the grid on a testing basis and is expected to be inaugurated soon after attaining full power.” PECA further said, “Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, and an important source of electricity with zero carbon emission besides being economically competitive.”
The unit is expected to produce 10 billion kWh of electricity yearly. Moreover, it will meet the electricity needs of more than 4 million Pakistani households. It will reduce the consumption of 3.12 million tons of coal. It will also help reduce carbon emissions by 8.16 million tons annually. Furthermore, it is equal to planting 70 million trees.Wow!
K-3 will also prove to be beneficial for China. It will pump the demand for Hualong One technology in the market. Its successful operation in Pakistan will improve the credibility of the technology. So, it’s a win-win situation for both countries.