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Pakistan And China Signs A $4.8 Billion Deal For Nuclear Power Plant

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif confirmed that a $4.8 billion deal was signed on Tuesday with China to lay down a 1,200 megawatt nuclear power plant, receiving investment from a country that is considered a trusted ally of Pakistan.

On a state-run news channel PTV, Sharif said the Chashma 5 project would commence right away, and continued with the declaration of the collaboration, by signing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between China National Nuclear Cooperation and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

Sharif said, “Investment from China in this project to the tune of $4.8 billion sends a message loud and clear that Pakistan is a place where Chinese companies and investors continue to show their trust and faith.” The Chashma 5 project would be constructed in the central province of Punjab. Collaboration with China will help Pakistan take away its dependency on fossil fuels.

When Pakistan established its sixth nuclear power plant two years ago, its capability of production of nuclear energy rose to 1,400 mw. The 1,100 mw plant was built with the help of China in the port city of Karachi.

While Sharif’s government is trying to avoid a balance of payments crisis, it appreciates a $100 million discount provided by China for the recent project. It is not sure whether China’s latest investment will be counted as a part of its promise to help with infrastructure for Pakistan as mentioned in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Work on the latest project was set to begin a few years back, Sharif thanked its Chinese partners for rethinking costs regardless of delay. Initially, China paid $104.53 million (30 billion Pakistani rupees) to begin the project.

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