Power generation in Pakistan has been the focal problem. The country has been suffering from energy crisis since long time back. Hardly any projects have been seen in the past to overcome the issue. The big hurdles include opposition. Nonetheless in recent past, few developments have been witnessed to tackle these issues of energy crisis.
With the inauguration of CHASNUP III, the third unit of Chashma Nuclear Power Plant in Mianwali district, the total nuclear technology based power generation has reached the mark of 1040 megawatt, still much below 8000 Megawatt, the target set by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
Pakistan has now four nuclear power generation facilities, promising some bailout to the South Asian country from the energy crisis being faced over the last one decade.
The construction of the Chinese-designed CNP-300 by China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) began in March 2011.
The country has been producing energy for more than four decades with the first nuclear power plant KANUPP in Karachi established with the help of Canada in 1972. The other three nuclear power plants CHASNUPP I, CHASNUPP II and CHASNUPP III, are operating in Chashma, along River Indus in Punjab.
Although, Pakistan inherited a very weak power generation system at the time of independence in 1947 – just 60MW of power generation capability for a population of 31.5 million, which yielded 4.5 units per capita consumption – it has also wasted many opportunities.
According to energy experts, there is a need for quantum jump in power generation with the construction of hydel power projects – that will provide much cheaper electricity to run the industry and lit houses in a country of 200 million people, and growing.
Pakistan needs to have more and more electricity from low cost fossil fuels like natural gas and coal instead of relying on furnace oil and diesel that have been responsible for the so-called circular debt in the power sector in the recent years and becomes a drain on national economy.