Pakistan and China have officially signed a momentous deal worth $4.8 billion, marking a significant milestone in their alliance. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the agreement, expressing his appreciation for China’s substantial investment. The accord entails the construction of a 1,200-megawatt nuclear power plant known as Chashma 5.
In an interview with state-run news channel PTV, Sharif emphasized the symbolic nature of this investment, affirming that it demonstrates China’s unwavering trust and confidence in Pakistan. The project, situated in the central province of Punjab, will facilitate Pakistan’s transition away from traditional fossil fuels.
This collaboration elevates Pakistan’s total nuclear energy production capacity to 1,400 megawatts. It is worth mentioning that China’s involvement in the construction of the country’s sixth nuclear power plant in Karachi, with a capacity of 1,100 megawatts, played a pivotal role in achieving this milestone.
Sharif, whose administration is grappling with a pressing balance of payments crisis, expressed gratitude to the Chinese partners for offering a generous $100-million discount on the latest project. While it remains unclear whether this investment is part of the $65 billion China has committed to infrastructure development under the Belt and Road Initiative, the agreement undoubtedly reinforces the strong bilateral ties between the two nations.
Despite experiencing a considerable delay, Sharif commended the Chinese side for not rescheduling costs and commended their commitment to the project. The initial disbursement of 30 billion Pakistani rupees ($104.53 million) by the Chinese further exemplifies their dedication to the endeavor.
With this substantial investment, Pakistan’s energy sector is poised for significant growth and progress, solidifying the country’s position as a strategic partner for China in its ambitious economic initiatives.